By Al Stilley
Senior staff writer
Like its meandering lazy river, Greenwood’s multimillion dollar aquatic center is easing through its opening summer after residents have been without a public pool since 2012.
Freedom Springs Aquatic Park, 850 W. Stop 18 Road, has amenities that the public sought in a series of meetings, and the admission charge is reasonable.
“We definitely have a low price point – the best value in central Indiana,” park director Isaac Hart said. “If you go elsewhere, your price point goes up.”
The amenities are unlike anything the city had at Greenwood Pool, which was nearly 60 years old when it was closed in 2012 and replaced with a splash park and small city park just west of City Center. The old pool featured a diving area, pool, sun deck, concessions and lockers.
In addition to the lazy river, the facility features water slides, a wade-in area, aquatic areas for toddlers and youngsters, a 25-meter pool for lane swimming and diving, “funbrellas,” hundreds of deck chairs, picnic areas and concession stands. Cabanas also can be rented for half or full days.
Admission for Greenwood residents is $8 for adults, $6 for children, seniors (over 55 years) and active military; non-residents: $10 for adults, children, seniors and active military, with children 2 years and under admitted free. After being hand-stamped, patrons may exit and return during the day.
Season passes are available for $65 for residents, $85 for nonresidents. More than 800 season passes have been sold, and the park has averaged 400 to 500 patrons per day since opening, even with the rainy and cool days. Hart said 2,000 patrons were at the park during its first two days.
“We want everyone to come and explore the aquatic park and its opportunities for summer fun,” he said. “We want them to come and see what we have to offer.”
Marketing and promotions through social media and partnering with the Indianapolis Indians helped spread the word about Freedom Springs before it opened. The park has attracted guests from Speedway, Martinsville and Bloomington.
The park is open daily from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. except Thursday and Sunday, when it’s open until 10 and 6 p.m., respectively. Hours will change when students return to public schools, but it will be open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
The center, operated by the Greenwood Parks and Recreation Department, employs 50 certified lifeguards and 24 guest services personnel.
“We want everyone who comes here to have a good time and to be around our friendly staff,” Hart emphasized. “Our cores are customer service and safety.”
The facilities are available for private or corporate use. On-site naming rights, signage, advertising and promotional opportunities are available on a three-year basis.
Hart has 14 years’ experience in managing public aquatic centers, including 10 years at the Plainfield facility.
Info: 884-2078 or visit www.greenwood.in.gov.
Indy Parks’ area pools
Bethel Park, 2850 Bethel Ave., 327-7480. Monday-Friday, noon-5 p.m.; Saturday, noon-8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.
Garfield Park, 2450 Shelby St.,, 327-7220. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.
Perry Park, 451 E. Stop 11 Road, 888-0070. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday, 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.
Warren Park/Indy Island (indoors). Monday, Tuesday, Thursday- Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; Wednesday, noon-8 p.m.
Admission prices may vary. Info: pick up a “2015 Summer Fun Guide” at any Indy Parks location or visit www.indygov.org/parks.