Orange Township: North Orange Park Aquatic Center expected to open May 21
CORRECTION: The North Orange Park Aquatic Center will open May 21. Because of incorrect information provided to ThisWeek, the print and earlier online version of this story provided an incorrect opening date.
Orange Township’s North Orange Park Aquatic Center, 7560 Gooding Blvd., will be open for the 2021 season.
The center, with its two pools, slides and diving area, will open May 21, parks and facilities manager Mike Kelly told ThisWeek.
Trustees and staff continue to fine-tune operational details, but trustees anticipate being able to sell season passes soon.
The aquatics center was closed in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The opening will not be without some changes. The facility will be open to township residents only and will be subject to capacity and time restrictions. Additionally, no poolside furniture will be provided, and concessions will be limited.
Trustees discussed plans for pool operations during an April 12 special meeting.
“Residents are absolutely ready for us to have a plan in place,” trustee Debbie Taranto said.
“Our staff has a good plan and will get the pool opened and running safely,” trustee Ryan Rivers told ThisWeek.
Season passes, which will be available for purchase soon, will cost the same as past years, trustee Ben Grumbles said. Individual passes cost $90 for ages 3-12, $95 for ages 13-59 and $70 for ages 60 and older. Family passes start at $155 for a family of two and increase by $15 for each additional family member.
In 2019, a total of 1,006 passes were purchased; 962 of those were family passes.
The cost for day passes has not yet been determined but will be sold only on a day-of basis to reduce the need for refunds due to inclement weather.
Grumbles said the center will operate in three shifts daily: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 6 to 8:30 p.m. The facility will be sanitized between shifts, he said.
How day passes will be sold and how transactions for concessions will be handled are details that still need worked out, Grumbles said.
Capacity will be capped at 425 during a shift. Grumbles said this capacity will be enforced on the front end via a reservation process in an effort to avoid having to turn patrons away at the gate.
“We have the equipment, the software and the staffing, and we hope to make this season as effortless as possible,” Grumbles said.
For more information, go to orangetwp.org.
Township administrator suspended
The trustees voted 2-1 April 12 to suspend the township administrator, a 43-year-old former assistant prosecutor who previously had given legal advice to officials there and at other Delaware County entities.
No reason was given for the suspension of Andrew King, who was appointed a year ago. He had been given a 3-month raise in July and good evaluations, officials in the township had said.
"I'm not going to give a reason right now," Grumbles, who voted for the suspension, said after the meeting. "Before we make contractual decisions we need to get lawyers to assist us."