By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer
SHARONVILLE - Residents will be shelling out more money for membership fees, but they are in for a triple treat when a new pool opens at the recreation center next May.
The city's 30-some-year-old outdoor pool, shut down in early August because of its age, will be replaced with a $3.1 million complex featuring three separate areas: for competition and exercise, a plunge pool with flume slides, and an ocean-themed shallow section for family play.
Residents will pay more to help finance the project. The steepest jump will be resident family pool memberships, which will nearly double from $50 to $90.
The complex, which will be behind the recreation center on Thornview Drive, is the culmination of five years of planning for recreation staff, who journeyed as far as St. Louis to get ideas, said aquatics director Linda Reynolds.
"I think the residents are going to be very happy with this," she said.
For the Sharonville Sharks competitive swim team, it means updated equipment to keep score at home meets and heated warm-up laps during the cooler months for the first time since anyone can remember.
"Last May, it wasn't real warm, but every one of those little kids were in the water. They came out and their lips were blue and they were chattering, but not one of them complained," said Sharks president Sue Knight. "We made the best of it. The kids are really excited."
Other features include a family pool that will be zero depth to 18 inches. Youngsters will be doused with water sprayed by dolphins atop a play structure, complete with a small slide and water cannons.
Older kids can plunge down two flumelike slides or play water basketball or volleyball in a deeper section, Reynolds said.
The competitive pool will range in depth from five to 12 feet, with an adult lap lane and diving boards.
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