By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer
BURLINGTON - For more years than he can remember, Vernon Shetler has been the first person into the outdoor pool at the Tri-City YMCA when it opens each summer.
This year, the 85-year-old Florence resident who swims 20 laps or 30 minutes -- "whichever comes first" -- each day, will be the first to dip his toe into the pool at the new R.C. Durr YMCA, which is replacing the Florence Y.
The new facility in Burlington opened at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. At 6:30 a.m., 15 men started a pickup basketball game, the first activity at the new Y, said Barbara Hauser, YMCA spokeswoman.
People were also lining up outside to join the Y, she said. So many new members joined Tuesday that the staff didn't have time to count, she said.
As of Monday, the new facility in Boone Woods Park had 491 new members.
The new YMCA's outdoor pool, which will be open to the public, opens Thursday after Shetler takes his swim.
When YMCA staff told him he would get the honor of getting in the new pool first, "I said OK, thank you for your kindness," he said Tuesday.
Shetler, who has been a member at Tri-City for 16 years, was the last "member of the month" at the Tri-City Y.
Memberships from Tri-City, which opened in 1967, have been transferred to the new 46,000-square-foot facility in Boone Woods Park, which has two outdoor pools, an indoor pool, a gymnasium, a health and fitness complex, an aerobics studio and space for public gatherings.
The outdoor pool complex includes a 15-foot slide and "spray ground" - water fountains for kids to play in.
The outdoor pools are open to the public for a $6 daily fee for adults and $3 for children.
Boone County paid $500,000 for the YMCA to enlarge the pool to accommodate residents.
The YMCA stands on 11 acres of county land leased to the Y for $1.
Boone County bought the Tri-City YMCA and Union Swim Club from the YMCA last year for $2.5 million. The Tri-City YMCA will remain open as the Boone County Community Recreation Center. The facility will be managed by the Y.
If you go
What: Open house for the new Boone County R.C. Durr YMCA.
When: 1-4 p.m. Saturday
Activities: Tours every 15 minutes, a cookout and DJ on the pool deck, pool games and crafts for children.
Daily admission: $6 for adults and $3 for children
Membership: : $50 monthly for an adult with a $125 joining fee; $71 monthly for a family with a $150 fee.
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