Underwater spin and ‘mermaid school’: 2 new pools, community center open in south Sac

After years of delay, the Pat O’Brien Community Center and its next-door aquatic center opened for Memorial Day weekend, aimed at serving residents of all ages and interests.

Offering new spaces for aquatic fitness classes like water board yoga, underwater spin and “mermaid school,” and youth sports such as volleyball and basketball, the new complex cost about $16 million and is located at 8025 Waterman Rd.

“We anticipate being exceptionally busy, not just in the summer but year around,” said Richard Lincoln, recreation manager at the Southgate Recreation & Park District, which owns the facility.

The aquatic center features a beach-entry activity pool and a 25-meter length pool, as well as a “spray play” water area for children. The roughly 13,000 square foot community center includes a gymnasium, as well as a large meeting room and patio area.

The facilities were expected to open April 2017, Lincoln said, but bad weather and labor shortages stalled out construction efforts.

Saturday’s grand opening coincided with another major aquatics center opening in Elk Grove. Elk Grove’s facility includes an Olympic-sized pool, water slides and a lazy river, among other amenities.

But Lincoln said that south Sacramento’s new aquatic center is sufficiently far from Elk Grove that competing for the same swimmers isn’t an issue. He added that current interest in swim and water activities in the Sacramento region far exceeds current local offerings.

“Wackford is looking forward to us serving the community because it’ll relieve the pressure of people standing in line who can’t get in,” Lincoln said, referring to Elk Grove’s Barbara Morse Wackford Community and Aquatic Complex.

The south Sacramento aquatic center will be generally open for public swimming 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday through the summer, and will cost $3 for children, $5 for adults. Mornings and evenings at the pool will be reserved for classes, Lincoln said.

Specific swim hours and class registrations can be found on the Southgate Recreation and Park District website at www.southgaterecandpark.net/.

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Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks covers Sacramento County and the cities and suburbs beyond the capital. She’s previously worked at The New York Times and NPR, and is a former Bee intern. She graduated from UC Berkeley, where she was the managing editor of The Daily Californian.
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