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New Outdoor Pool at Hogan YMCA in Madison to Open Saturday

MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Nothing says summer fun like a water mushroom, dumping bucket, and water cannons.  They’re almost ready to go at the Hogan YMCA in Madison.

On Monday, WHNT NEWS 19 cameras caught workers putting on the final touches.

“It’s a zero-depth entry, so they’ll be able to kinda walk in or waddle in and play around where it’s shallow,” said Ginger Upshaw, aquatics director.

The slides are ready to go and the mushroom, dumping bucket and water cannons will all be up shortly.

The pool is five feet deep and has six swimming lanes.  It’s a bit wider than the inside pool and can accommodate more than 100 people in 120,000 gallons of warm water.

“We’re gonna keep it somewhere around 84 or 85 degrees, which is the same as our indoor pool,” said Upshaw.

But there’s a big difference between the two pools.

“Unlike inside, right now, we can run the slide, and run the splash pad and run swim lessons or laps all at the same time” said Upshaw.

The new pool is set to open Saturday, along with many other community pools.  That brings to mind pool safety.

Upshaw said one of the important things to prevent tragedies is supervision.

“Anything can happen,” she said. “You can jump on something or try to swim across the pool holding your breath and maybe pass out or something like that… And I think that parents just need to be aware of their kid’s ability and make sure that there’s some sort of supervision.”

In a world of obesity, Upshaw said that isn’t a reason to stay out of the water.

“Oddly enough, being a little bit overweight often works in people’s favor in the pool, as strange as that sounds. Muscle is more dense and muscle sinks.”

Nonetheless, the lifeguards on duty at the pools — up to 10 of them at a time — will be on the lookout for blue lips on anyone which may indicate hypothermia or exhaustion.

Members expected the pool back to be built and open in 2010, but construction was delayed due to the country’s economic recession.

After its “soft opening” on Saturday, May 24th, the new pool will be open the following week to members.  The grand opening to the public is set for June 7th.

The YMCA is hiring dozens of part-time staff members to support the new pool and accommodate guests.