DERBY– The main pool at IROC is back. It’s cold, but it’s open. And there could be no better group to test it out than the IROCKET Swim Team which started its season tonight doing laps in the 66 degree water. For some like Eric Gauvin, Eli McFarlane, and Adam Lodewik, 66 degrees was no different than what they took on during the 6 mile open water swim this summer at Kingdom Swim. For others, it was “Nothing but Chilly.”
“It’s very exciting to have the main pool re-open. We’ll be bringing the temperature of the pool up slowly with a combination of propane and our new solar panels,” said Phil White, Executive Director. Temperatures in the main pool are not likely to rise above 75 degrees for a while as IROC takes every effort to reduce its use of propane and lower its operating budget.
Peter Stuart, one of the coaches of the IROCKETS was ecstatic. “This is a great group of young swimmers who each year take their swimming to new levels. They are now increasingly competitive in state meets and they have been real stars in the open water swims in Lake Memphremagog. It’s great to have the pool back and open.” Many schools make use of the pool throughout the fall winter and spring. Summer swimming lessons at IROC have been booming since the Red Cross was forced to cancel its swimming program a couple of years ago.
Chlorine levels are still a little elevated but are dropping steadily and are fine for most swimmers. Those particularly sensitive to chlorine should probably wait a few days before diving in.
Aqua Fitness and other classes will be getting underway within the next week or two.
The Therapy Pool is not yet open but should be open at the end of next week.
IROC has applied for a state grant to help with some of the major work that needs to be done on the pool. But it has scheduled the work on the dehumidifier which should be done this month, has installed exhaust vents, and ground and repainted the steel supports for the water slides.
The Official Re-Opening Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, October 22, 2011. And there are no life guards on duty so that children must be accompanied by their parents to use the pool. But, the doors are now open; classes will be beginning shortly, swimmers are welcome; and the Therapy Pool is not far behind.
White expressed his appreciation to the community for its support. “I want to thank the hundreds of people who have helped make this possible. Donations large and small are making the difference. Our volunteers have more than doubled. Folks are donating labor and materials to help with improvements to the facility. They are helping at the front desk and they are helping Diane with cleaning. They are organizing used book sales and bottle drives. It’s truly inspiring to see the response. We still need to raise $90,000 before year end in order to meet our goal of $200,000 but we are over half way there. One of our biggest challenges during the next two weeks is to get our property taxes paid. So, we’re not letting up for one minute in our fundraising efforts.”
UPDATE: Pool temperature is now up to 70 degrees. Chlorine levels have fallen to 2.6 which is well within the “just right” zone of 1.5 to 3.0.