MVA receives funding to open, pools still need plaster
POLSON — Children’s laughter, the smell of chlorine, towels and the slap of bare feet on tile hopefully will soon fill the Mission Valley Aquatic Center.
Mission Valley Aquatics is working with the Montana Community Development Corporation and U.S. Bank to secure funding to complete the pool, according to project director Tana Seeley.
The main MVA building is done, Seeley said, but the main pool and the therapy pool are only 60 to 80 percent done.
“What needs to happen is plaster for the pool,” Seeley said.
Scheduling the plaster crew, which comes from Texas, is the next issue. The pool builder also has to complete work on the pump room, since as soon as the pool is plastered, it’s filled with water in order to cure. The plaster job will take approximately four weeks. Also “a fabric sock” duct needs to be fitted on a three-rail area around the entire pool.
Baffles for sound reduction will also be installed. The pool area “will be just like a gym” with the flat surface of the water magnifying sounds after the pool is filled, Seeley said.
Mission Valley Aquatics has sold about $25,000 worth of pool passes, so the pool is already popular. Those passes won’t take effect until the first day of use.
The center will offer a pool operator’s course at MVA on March 14 and 15. The nationally recognized certification already has eight takers, and the course fee is $275, according to aquatic director Ali Bronsdon. Pool operators are important, since the Lake County Health Department requires an aquatic facility have a pump operator within a 30-minutes drive.
As soon as there is water in the pool, MVA will need lifeguards. They would like a group of approximately 40 lifeguards and are looking for interested people.
Seeley said MVA plans to offer Zumba, adult swim classes, masters lap swimming, and “anything anybody can think up.”
Masters swimming will start as soon as the pool is ready to go since, “there is a huge and very active triathlon community here that is eager to start swimming and improve their technique,” Bronsdon said.
Group youth classes for all levels and mom-and-tot classes can also begin when the pool is full.
“We will also offer private or semi-private (two to three students) classes for both children and adults,” Bronsdon said, although she said the classes would depend on teacher availability.
People have expressed interest in water aerobics, arthritis therapy and adult swim classes, too.
Seeley is surprised by the amount of people who drive by, walk by or bike by the MVA to peek in and see if anything is happening.
“People are so eager for the pool to be open,” Seeley said.