EAST PALESTINE Sliding board makes a splash

A group of fifth-graders will go down the slide at noon Saturday, officially kicking off the pool season.
EAST PALESTINE -- The new sliding board at the city pool has Grant and Jerry's stamp of approval.
Grant Springer, city recreation director, and Jerry Coblentz, park maintenance supervisor, had a little fun on the job Tuesday morning, testing the renovated pool and the new slide.
Yes, they were working, checking the pool and the new slide for safety, installing buoyed ropes between depth sections and checking the heater, pumps and filtering system.
"Just punch my time card at three o'clock," a swimming Springer joked to Sandy Wales, park board president.
"It's really fast," Coblentz said of the twisting, 90-foot slide that is the new centerpiece of the pool. Water rushing down the slide at up to 700 gallons per minute makes it even faster, he said.
Opens Saturday: The pool opens for the season at noon Saturday, with five fifth-graders who won an elementary school contest to make the first public splash.
Pool admission Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. is free, with daily rates of $2 for students and $3 for adults the rest of the season, Wales said. Season passes are available for $50 per person, or $75 for a family of five and $10 for each additional person.
The park board purchased the slide with an Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks $23,500 grant, and $7,000 each from the park festival committee, the city and the American Legion.
Wales said the park board is hopeful repairs to the pool and gutter system have solved a nagging leak that has been a problem for several years. With the leak stopped and the heater working properly, swimmers should dive into a warmer pool, she said.
New state regulations regarding safety and pool depth have forced the city to dismantle the diving boards and close the wading pools.
"It's a shame to lose the diving boards, but the slide will be a good draw," Springer said.
Wales said that as finances are available, the park board hopes to upgrade one wading pool to code, then and fill in the other. Filling in the second pool will make room for a poolside patio area outside the renovated concession stand, Wales said.
Park officials doubled the size of the concession stand by knocking out a wall and expanding into an area previously used for storage, Wales said. A solid poolside wall now has windows, and the concession stand and bath houses all received a fresh coat of paint.

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