Swimming pools are great for kids to cool off in the hot summer months, but what about youngsters who are too little to swim?
The Randolph-Asheboro YMCA constructed an outdoor wet playground that opened in 2008, providing a zero-depth water park for children 8 years old and younger. A zero-depth park is a smooth concrete floor with a gentle slope in the middle, which allows water to drain and then be recycled throughout the day.
The Splash Pad was completed after a year of planning, design and construction, and it has become yet another forward-thinking addition to the YMCA’s fitness and fun lineup.
The Randolph-Asheboro Y also features a 25-meter pool that is used for water aerobic classes, aquatic therapy sessions, swim lessons, swim team competitions, Special Olympics events, lap swimming, pool parties and scuba diving lessons.
“The Randolph-Asheboro YMCA isn’t a building, a fitness club, a sports organization or a day care,” says General Director Patrick O’Hara. “It is a group of people who have come together to meet the needs of the community. It’s you, me and many others. We are the YMCA.”
The already popular Splash Pad is equipped with low-pressure water jets, fountains, turning water pistols and overhead buckets that dump water at regularly timed intervals for children to duck under and get drenched.
The supervised area has three YMCA lifeguards on duty at all times during operating hours, and there is a wrought-iron fence that keeps youngsters safely inside the contained space.
The Splash Pad is open from May through September, with extended hours on weekends. The facility is free to all YMCA members, and comfortable deck chairs are available for parents to sit and watch their kids. The venue also has an outdoor snack bar, along with overhead speakers that broadcast soft rock music from a local radio station.