It’s time to jump in

By on May 23, 2012

By: TIFFANY WOODALL Review Staff, Staff Writer

With the assistance of the Ephrata Borough Electric Department, photographer Preston Whitcraft was able to capture an overall shot of the new Ephrata Community Pool complex. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Get ready to make a splash at the new Ephrata Community Pool this weekend as the $2 million complex finally opens the gates for its debut season. Kids are just three days away from zipping down winding slides into the crisp blue water and munching on Lily’s Poolside goodies.

But kids aren’t the only ones looking forward to Saturday. This project has been in the works for nearly 10 years, and one man involved in its planning and execution is excited about the finished product.

"Being a part of the recreation community full time for over the past 34 years and in fact having my first job at the Ephrata Community Pool in 1968, I look at this latest pool project as another gem in the crown of our great community," said David Lloyd, executive director of the Ephrata Recreation Center.

"The community has been overwhelmingly positive on this project," said Lloyd. "Everyone that I come in contact with feels this pool project is a winner. I had one long-time Ephrata resident tell me that he feels he can walk with his chest out in pride over this project," he said.

An open house was held May 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. where community members could ask questions and offer comments about the new facility. Lloyd said the event "provided our staff with a lot of positive feedback from wide-eyed children who cannot wait to try out the new water features."

The community’s enthusiasm says it all. As of Monday, pre-season pool membership sales had already exceeded 2011 sales by 24 percent, said Lloyd. He expects an increased amount of bathers this year, too. Last year 32,680 bathers visited the pool, and that number is expected to increase approximately 68 percent with the new facilities.

After being closed for almost two decades, the community’s favorite snack bar returns with some scrumptious summertime treats. Lily’s Poolside will be available to pool guests as well as people in the park and will be managed by Steve Brown, owner of Lily’s on Main and the Ephrata Main Theatre.

"As of now the weather for opening day looks to be fantastic and we expect a full house!" said Lloyd.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for May 26 and will take place at the new entrance at noon, followed by Mayor Ralph Mowen taking a ceremonial first slide down the "Blue Monster" flume slide.

"Pope John Paul II once said, ‘A community needs a soul if it is to become a true home for human beings. You, the people must give it this soul.’ This gem in our community crown brings soul, which makes it a true home for human beings," said Lloyd. More POOL, page A17

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