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New West Fargo pool going swimmingly

A boy gets launched into the water Saturday at the new Veterans Memorial Pool in West Fargo. Dave Wallis1 / 3
A young boy turns a valve to vary the spray from the fountain Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Pool in West Fargo. Dave Wallis2 / 3
A young girl goes down the slide Saturday at the new pool. Dave Wallis3 / 3

A summertime hot spot in West Fargo is once again open.

The community’s sole recreational pool opened on Saturday to hundreds of children and adults who braved the windy weather for a chance to soak up some chlorine-filled fun.

The $2.2 million pool at 131 6th Ave. E. will be open from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. seven days a week.

It replaces the pool that closed last July after serving the community as a favorite of families for 56 years.

Like many community pools, the West Fargo pool often gave children a place to see and be seen by friends during the school-free summers. That includes former longtime West Fargo resident Monte Anderson.

Anderson met his wife, Karen, at the pool in the summer of 1957. The couple who made their home in West Fargo for 43 years said they were excited to hear of the new opening.

The opening was long awaited after construction ground to a halt in May due to frost in the ground. But the weather warmed up and the rain stayed away long enough that construction came together in the past couple of weeks. The city’s only public pool will open at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Park district Executive Director Barb Erbstoesser said the new facility is no longer just a “box of water” – it will feature a zero-depth pool, a baby pool, two waterslides, a three-lane lap area and other kid-friendly amenities. The facility will have the capacity to hold 277 people.

“We’ve got about 11,000 square feet of pool surface,” Erbstoesser said.

The new pool is designed to maximize space.

“(Before), we had two diving boards, which essentially left a third of the pool unusable,” Erbstoesser said. “We really feel we’ve taken things to the next level. There is really no comparison to what we had before.”

The new pool will also be heated, which was not a feature of the old community pool.

There will be a $2 admission charge and an additional $2 fee for the waterslide.

Admission for children under the age of 1 is free.

The $2 admission is for anyone who enters the pool – spectators and swimmers, Erbstoesser said. She said the fee policy matches those in Fargo and Moorhead.

“We haven’t had any pushback so far,” she said of the cost.

A season pass is available through the park district office, which is open Monday through Friday. A scholarship program for households that need assistance with the fees is available at the park office.

The pool will employ about 15 lifeguards, with five on duty during regular hours.

A concession stand will also be staffed and open at the pool.

Construction of the facility was completed this week, although some small landscaping features will likely be completed in the coming weeks.

Erbstoesser said the pool will be open through Labor Day.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

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