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Pool Update: Community Swimming Access Starts Monday (Details Here)

The indoor pool will be open limited hours for lap swim, open water exercise and recreational swim beginning Feb. 13.

[Editor's Note: This memo went out Thursday over the Albany schools email lists. Read more about the . Fee and class schedules, as well as pool rules, are attached to this story as PDFs.] 

We are delighted to announce that the pool is filled and staff is hired at the . We are pleased to offer a variety of programs, classes and events to fit the many users and groups at our pool. A wide variety of programs will be offered throughout the year. Our programs will provide opportunities for individuals and families to participate in learning, exercise and recreational programs in a new and exciting atmosphere. The facility is open to Albany residents and non-residents, students and staff. Contact the pool for more information about our facility, programs, daily fees and membership options.

The Albany High School Swim Team and Aquatic Center staff will be the first group to use the pool for practice and training purposes. After that it will be time for the community to come in and take a dip!

• The indoor pool will be open limited hours for lap swim, open water exercise and recreational swim the week of February 13th

• Walk-up registration, pass sales and staff guided tours will be available at the Aquatic Center starting February 13th

• Online registration for classes

- Albany Residents starts on January 30

- Non-Resident registration starting on February 6th

We know that the Albany Aquatic Center will become a destination point and learning center for our students. Albany Aquatic Center will continue its legacy of being a community asset that Albany can be proud of. We hope to see you swimming soon!

Please visit our website www.ausdk12.org and click on the Albany Aquatic Center tab to review our program guide and pool schedules. Click the “register now” button to sign up for classes.

Amanda Garcia
Director of Aquatics and Adult Education
Albany Unified School District
(510) 558-3750 ext. (6909)
agarcia@ausdk12.org

Read more on Albany Patch about the . Click the "Keep me posted" button below for future updates on this topic.

Ira Sharenow February 10, 2012 at 04:16 AM
I stopped by a few days ago. I was behind a fence but the facility looks great! Can someone tell me where the bike racks and the basketball courts are? Also what is up with DSA approval? https://www.apps.dgs.ca.gov/tracker/ProjectRequiredDoc.aspx Application #: 111044 File #: 1-H2
Pauline Hale February 11, 2012 at 12:01 AM
As a senior with arthritis who benefitted for many years from Kate Johnson's water exercise classes I assumed such classes would resume when the new pool was finished. Is this going to happen? Many of us hope so. Pauline Hale pghale@earthlink.net
Joan Winnek February 16, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Like Pauline, I have arthritis as well as two knee replacements, and Kate Johnson's classes benefited both me and my husband, a stroke victim. She regularly taught two classes, totalling about fifty senior citizens and disabled people. That represents a huge need we hope the Albany Pool will meet. Joan Strand carl.joan@comcast.net
Tatter Salad February 17, 2012 at 02:18 AM
As Director Amanda Garcia said, the indoor pool is to house a variety of community programs: water aerobics/ physical therapy classes, swim lessons ,party rentals. with the expectation of most revenue from the indoor pool. That is: third-party physical therapists will be a major source of income. The water temperature needs to be comfortable for their customers. Water therapy allows all manor of physcal excursions, can remove 'gravity' that assaults leg joints, and the chest-high water acts as a 'pillow' -removingthe fear of the exerciser 'falling.' Competitive swimming cannot take place in water that is too warm; the air temperature at the surface of hot water depletes the potential Oxygen content, and exercise quickly becomes labored as a result. The pool is therefore designated for school swim teams, water polo, lap swim, and possibly a master’s swimming program. The very well maintained El Cerrito pool already serves the 'Masters' function quite well, at less than $5.00/swim. No doubt local swimmers(' paying public') will try the pool, and if too cold or too warm, or too expensive... -they will simply not return if it doesn't meet expectation. (As managed previously, -the old indoor pool- the water was too warm for lap swimmers; but made a marginal income from the 3rd-party users. Temperatures would vacillate wildly from day-to-day, as they tried in vain to appeal to both lap swimmers, kids, and therapy-users.)
Margaret Tong February 17, 2012 at 03:49 AM
I saw in my visit at the official opening that in the ladies' facilities there is only the one shower with a seat. Are there plastic chairs available for those who need to be safely seated in the shower so that we can use the 'open' showers?
Joan Winnek February 17, 2012 at 05:29 AM
More than twenty women from Kate Johnson's classes enjoyed the new indoor pool this morning, and found the staff responsive to our desire for a return of aquatic exercise classes for seniors and disabled. With so many of us, the dressing room was crowded. Another bench is needed, and someplace to hang clothes. The pool is beautiful, with a wall of windows facing the park to the east and the hills. The temperature is comfortable, and there are good stairways into the pool. At $4.25 for seniors, the price is fair. Let's all continue to work to make this the wonderful community resource it can be. Joan Strand carl.joan@comcast.net
Steve Chervitz Trutane February 21, 2012 at 12:53 AM
We brought the family to open swim yesterday afternoon (2/19) and had a fun time. There was a bit of unplanned excitement after someone apparently forgot to wait the requisite 30 minutes after lunch... My only gripes facility-wise would be: 1) Lack of bicycle racks. We had to make do with a street sign on the sidewalk. There are some racks by the entrance to the high school -- a good distance away. Having some racks near the pool entrance would encourage alternative transportation. 2) No lockers in the changing rooms. It was inconvenient shuttling all our gear to the lockers in the hallway outside of the locker rooms, while keeping tabs on the kids. Many parents just left their stuff out on the bench in the locker room rather than use the lockers. Overall -- a great facility. Can't wait to try the outdoor pool.
Peggy McQuaid February 21, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Don't think of these as gripes, they are reminders that bike racks (which have been ordered, I believe) and lockers are needed. I have heard comments that lockers are also coming.
Michael Barnes February 21, 2012 at 05:57 AM
Swam on Monday evening. OMG, what a treat after all these years! I saw some folks I haven't seen since, well, since the old pool closed. I did an intense work-out on my bike trainer, walked to the pool for the 7:00 p.m. lap swim, did a several laps in the outdoor pool (fine temperature if you are working hard), then relaxed in the indoor pool, which is a giant warm wonderful bathtub in comparison to the outdoor pool. Strolled home in an intense endorphin buzz. Sigh, I didn't realize how much I missed the pool...
Peggy Mendelson February 23, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I am also from Kate's class with multiple temperature issues. It was 86 degrees last week and that was heavenly. 84 is too cold even wearing a neoprene jacket. The dressing room is about 1/3 of a normal dressing room and was jammed. No basket for clothes, no place to put soap/shampoo in the shower. I understand hooks are on order but do you really think it is fair to ask teenage girls to hang bras, underwear on hooks, and jewelry and back packs. Bring back green bags! Please have free exercise time in the deep water--can't really exercise when half of your body is exposed and cold. Thank you for a beautiful looking facility.
Margaret Tong February 23, 2012 at 11:59 PM
From Peggy's description, it sounds as if the ladies' dressing room/showers would be quite a challenge for me, with nowhere to sit to dress ( I know there is one shower for a person with a disability) and to stow one belongings in lockers out of the changing room. I'm already missing the old changing rooms and the laughter we shared. We older ladies
Joan Winnek February 24, 2012 at 01:30 AM
There are benches, just not enough when there are twenty women in the dressing room at a time. Am I right in assuming that most lap swimmers would prefer the outdoor pool with its cooler temperature? If that is the case, the deep water part of the indoor pool could be made available for people exercising using noodles or belts. There needs to be an agreement that people will not just stand around talking and block the lanes.
Maureen February 24, 2012 at 01:42 AM
I was a regular lap swimmer in the old pool and have been waiting for this one to be finished and then have the kinks worked out. Hope the locker thing is improved, or yes -- bring back the green bags. They worked fine. :-)
Margaret Tong February 24, 2012 at 01:49 AM
People standing around talking and blocking lanes! What memories. And yes please! green bags - even if they are frayed. Those classes were very important to so many of us.
Irene April 04, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Policies discourage using pool: 1 of 2 -We would like to try out a class but a session ticket is req'd. You also charge just to watch a class. -You have to pay for a series of classes w/in an arbitrary time frame. If you know you will miss some classes, you won't sign up. I have surgery in May and can't use the pool for a few weeks. I wanted to take classes before to be in good shape & pick up after. Your lack of a flexible policy prevents that. -If you want to go to a Sun & Wed exercise class, you can't. If you plan a vacation, you can't signup for that session. If unexpected events cause you to miss classes, you lose what you paid for them. DISORGANIZATION -I stopped by 3 times. Each staff person gave me diff info & only once did the info match written materials (& rarely matched the Web site). Decisions are made without much thought to impact on the community or financial benefit, & they are not consistently communicated to staff. - You suddenly change the Mon/Wed class time in the middle of a session. People who planned their schedules to allow for them to leave by 9:00, now have to leave early to get to other appointments or rearrange their schedules when possible, thus paying for time that they are not able to use. Changing class times should take place at the beginning of subsequent sessions, not in the middle of one for which people have paid for a scheduled time. continued
Irene April 04, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Continued from above BOTTOM LINE Only 12-15 people are in the classes I've seen. With a max set at 40, you should try to get more people. Classes provide a structure that encourages regular users. If classes fill up, that is the time to consider curtailling drop-ins or adding another class at a different time. There is much shaking of heads at the local coffee shop over these unwelcoming policies. Several people continue going to King or Kennedy pools, even when Albany is closer. You need to decide if you want to encourage people to use the pool or if you want it to be used only by people who have enough money that they can afford to or don't care if they lose it through no fault of their own. Changes are to be expected with the opening of a new facility, however, you are missing some basic elements of a successful community facility: A consistent schedule, welcoming policies, and a well-informed staff. Thanks for listening
Lori April 22, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I stopped by a few weeks ago because I plan to take the Aqua Chi class that was offered at the Warm Pool for many years. I realized I would need a heavier rash guard then I use at the Y. What bothered me was that if one is handicapped, there is no way to open the front door if in a wheel chair ( no button to have the doors open ). Also there are NO transfer tables in the dressing room and no hooks in the disabled shower. I don't know what the the rule is for attendants coming with disabled people yet. I will say it is a lovely pool, and I like the fact that there it is saline and less chlorine. I hope the the pool will do its best for the disabled who wish to take classes there. I agree with much of what Irene wrote. Thanks.
albany citizen April 23, 2012 at 07:46 AM
If this is true & I have no reason that it's not. It's a shame that Albany didn't comply with the ADA. It's to my understanding that Peggy was on the board for this pool and she is always whiny about everything being handicapped accessible. I would advise you to make your request in writing and if they don't comply with the dressing room then find a lawyer to help you see to that not only you but others can use the pool.
Margaret Tong April 23, 2012 at 08:08 AM
Suerly it's insulting to describe Peggy as 'whiny' about accessibility. Accessibility is the law. If the pool has not been built to such standard, there is a huge problem. I have not used the pool yet. I have a disability and need to be safe in the dressing/shower area. That is as simple as handrails and a bench to sit on while dressing. I remember reading a comment posted a few weeks ago which said that pool clients left their clothes on the benches in the shower area rather than leave them in the lockers. (apologies if I did not read that correctly.) What are those of us who do need to sit to safely dress do?

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