DES MOINES, Iowa — After more than a year of construction, the Wellmark YMCA pool is just months away from opening to the public. The indoor Olympic-sized pool is scheduled to open this March.
The pool is 50 meters long and 25 yards wide. The depth goes from 7 feet to 10 feet 8 inches and it will take more than 800,000 gallons of water to fill this pool.
A second, smaller pool is also being built. It's what the director calls a program pool, which they will use for things like swimming lessons.
Compared to its 19-lane neighbor, this smaller pool has four lanes and is half the size in length.
The YMCA Aquatic Director of Operations, Frankie Hanson, said a pool this large will allow the fitness club to host a number of community events.
“We’re going to be able to host community events and larger events such as swim meets that bring families from all over the state and actually outside the state as well to our downtown area,” Hanson said.
There are already a couple swim meets set up, one of them is the Y regional event which brings in swimmers from all over the Midwest.
“Our community events that we will be hosting will bring in anywhere between three and five-hundred swimmers and athletes per event and so absolutely it will help boost the economy in downtown Des Moines,” Hanson said.
The Wellmark YMCA plans to use these pools for a variety of different programs from the youth swim teams to their masters program which they will be launching in March when the pool opens, it is a swim team for people 18 and older.
The Aquatic director said she is excited for all the different ways the pools can be used.
“Aquatic safety to begin with, introducing swim lessons to the community, and having such a large space to offer a variety of programs from swim lessons, to swim team, to lap swim, to group exercise. The more space is just going to provide more opportunities and serve more members in our community,” Hanson said.
Another addition to the pool area is the bleachers where family and friends can sit during swim meets or other events. The bleachers hold more than 1,200 people, Hanson said the seats give people the opportunity to invite the entire family to an event.