Swim season in Stanly makes a big splash

With temperatures creeping up into the mid-90s, thoughts turn to beating the summer heat by taking a nice cool swim.

In Stanly County, four public swimming pools are available with varying hours, safety rules and features.

City of Albemarle

Albemarle Parks and Recreation has been providing city and county residents with access to swimming pools for a number of years.

While at one time maintaining pools at three locations, AP&R still has two pools in operation, each with different hours.

Rock Creek Park has public swim hours from 12:30-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Saturday. The limited hours during the week in morning hours are to allow Rock Creek to exclusively host swim lessons through the recreation department.

Chuck Morehead Park’s pool has later hours for the public during the summer, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and the same Saturday hours as Rock Creek. This gives people the ability to swim after getting off work, according to AP&R’s Payne Caulder.

Coolers and outside food are allowed at both locations, with the provision that no glass items may be brought in.

One type of item both pools do not allow of any kind are flotation devices, including swim wings for children as well. According Caulder, this policy is meant to keep children safer in terms of not swimming in water above their head for fear a flotation device might fall off.

Each pool has lifeguards, which Caulder said were “the last line of defense” in terms of drowning prevention.

Swimmers and families are allowed to bring chairs into the pool areas and changing rooms are provided. Both pools sell bottled water but do not have other types of concessions available.

AP&R does offer group rates for both pools, requiring 48 hours advance notice. Groups of 10 or above get a break in price, with another price break at 25 or more. Pools also may be rented on Saturday or Sunday for private parties.

For more information or to reserve the pools, call 704-984-9566.

Morrow Mountain Pool

The pool at Morrow Mountain State Park will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. until the middle of August.

From mid-August to Labor Day weekend, the pool will only be open on weekends.

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children age 3-12 and under 3 are free.

The pool ranges in size from three to five feet and does not have a slide or diving board, but it is an Olympic-size pool.

One feature of the Morrow Mountain Pool is outside food is welcome inside the pool area except swimmers are asked not to bring glass bottles.

Covered shelters are abundant around and outside the pool, and picnic tables are being put in a side area contained within the fences surrounding the pool.

Floats are also welcome at the pool unless the pool is too crowded.

Very young children can enjoy the wading pool when it is open; families are asked to call the pool at 704-982-0601 to check on the availability of the wading pool.

Concessions are on sale at the pool including ice cream, cold drinks and snacks.

West Stanly Community Pool

One pool many people may not realize has opened to the public again is the West Stanly Community Pool at 221 Big Lick Road in Stanfield.

Originally built and open in the 1980s as a members-only venue, the pool fell into some disrepair and was sold.

Current owner Patty Huneycutt and her family refurbished and reopened the pool in 2013. The pool will be open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

A feature of the 110,000-gallon pool, along with a slide and diving board into the 8.5-foot deep end, is the pool can be rented out at night after regular hours for private parties. Two- and three-hour rates are available.

Swim lessons are offered in the mornings before regular pool hours as well for those wanting to learn how to swim.

Safety is a important focus for the West Stanly Community Pool, Huneycutt said, adding all lifeguards on duty are American Red Cross-certified.

“We are very specific about that; we don’t hire anyone who is not (certified),” Huneycutt said.

Swimmers may bring lawn chairs, but no floats, noodles or rings are allowed. Little swimmers must have swimmies or puddle jumpers on.

The fee for swimmers is $4 for adults and kids 12 and under are free.

For more information on swim lessons, private party rentals or more, families are encouraged to call 704-984-0900 or 704-888-9970.

To submit story ideas, call Charles Curcio at 704-983-1361, email charles@stanlynewspress.com or con tact him via Twitter (@charles_curcio).