Lewistown City Pool's opening weekend sees success

Jenny Gessaman

Troy Lewellen finishes his inaugural run down Lewistown City Pool’s green slide on opening day Thursday. He and his two younger brothers came to enjoy the pool’s first public day this summer. Pool Manager Jean Muragin said 3 managers and 12 lifeguards were on duty to welcome swimming Central Montanans.
Photo by Jenny Gessaman

Orange cones and caution tape dotted the Lewistown City Pool’s inaugural weekend, but did not stop Central Montanans from enjoying the cool waters.

Lewistown Parks and Recreation Director Jim Daniels saw a flood of pool goers Friday.

“There was a at least a couple hundred, two to three hundred I’d say.”

Patrons enjoyed a new pool, as well as three new waterslides and a splash deck for younger patrons.

“As a general rule, we’re real happy with the start,” Daniels remarked.

He labeled the pool as almost complete.

“95 percent is done,” he said. “There’s stuff in the mechanical building and aesthetic stuff that needs to be addressed.”

One aesthetic aspect is the pool lawns. Daniels explained construction had ripped out irrigation lines and grass, so the areas were temporarily fenced off so new irrigation could be installed and sod or grass seed could be laid down. Once the grass takes root, Daniels plans to open the lawns so pool goers can enjoy picnics.

He stated shade structures are also in the works for late summer, and hopes they can provide relief from the sun in the absence of the trees removed for construction.

“The facility will just get better and better in the next two years,” Daniels said.

He explained any project needs to run to find all its kinks, and this weekend, and hopefully the whole season, will show the staff any needed tweaks.

“There are a lot of little things to address yet,” Daniels said.

One thing he was sure of was pool staff. Certified in first aid, CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator, or AED, Daniels stated Lewistown City Pool lifeguards were well qualified.

“In other towns, they always remark that when they’ve been trained in Lewistown, they’ll hire them on the spot,” he said.

Pool Assistant Manager Sydney Stivers agreed with Daniels’ sentiments.

“The staff has been meeting since the beginning of June, training in Hobson,” she said.

Stivers worked the pool’s opening weekend, and thought turnout and pool operation went well.

“We had it steady,” she commented about Friday. “From 1 o’clock to 7 o’clock, the pool was full.”

On Sunday, Stivers said the highest bather count was 106. She added the number only reflected people in the water and did not include all the patrons on the deck.

Stivers noted the success of the new slides, in popularity and in safety. The old slides emptied into pools, and led to a lot of incidents where lifeguards needed to assist swimmers.

“Most of our saves were right in the bottom [of the old slides], where it goes into the water,” she said.

Mary Kepler, a Lewistown pool lover since childhood, supported the project’s fundraising stage and is now a pool manager. She saw patrons enjoying the slides, but was also excited about the new splash deck. She described the area as providing extra fun for children too young to ride the twisting tubes.

Like Daniels, Kepler saw snags during the opening weekend, but accepted them as part of a new pool.

“For both customers and our staff, because it’s a new facility, there’s going to be some changes and some kinks to work out, but everything was positive and upbeat,” she said.

Kepler sees the new Lewistown City Pool as having great potential and great place in Lewistown.

“The pool is the heartbeat of the community in the summertime,” she said.

Lewistown City Pool - times and fees
Daily Fees
• 18 and over: $4
• Ages 7-17: $3
• Ages 4-6: $2
• 3 and under: free

Slide Passes (separate from daily pool fee or season pass fee)
• All-day pass: $3
• Ten all-day passes: $25

Public Swim Hours
• Monday: 1:30-5 p.m., 6-7 p.m.
• Tuesday through Thursday: 1:30-5 p.m., 6-8 p.m.
• Friday: 1:30-5 p.m., 6-9 p.m.
• Saturday and Sunday: 1-7 p.m.



Where is your favorite place to go camping in Central Montana?