Climbing wall to be added at Austin poolPublished 10:12am Friday, May 2, 2014
The Austin Municipal Pool will offer a way for local children to literally climb and jump into summer next month.
A 16-foot climbing wall will be added to the pool this summer. The wall will stick 12 feet out of the water.
Austin’s Director of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Kim Underwood said she asked for the wall around 2009, and this year it is finally going up.
“I’ve kind of been asking for a few years,” Underwood said. “It’s just something I saw and I thought it’d be fun.”
The climbing wall is a “play component” that will be added to the diving well. It will go on the south end of the pool area.
“It’s a climbing wall that’s usage begins and ends in the water,” Underwood said.
Though most climbing equipment requires climbers to be strapped in, this one does not. While this may make some parents uncomfortable, Underwood said the biggest concern is still a user’s swimming abilities.
“When you fall backwards you fall into the diving well,” Underwood said. If a climber does not have the required swimming stamina for the diving well, they will have restricted use of the wall. The same limits that are used for the diving board will be placed on the new equipment.
The wall, which is made specifically for swimming pools, has already been approved by the state of Minnesota. It features bigger foot and finger holds to help climbers stay on, despite being wet from the pool. According to Underwood, it has already been rated for wind and the panels are capable of withstanding the water environment.
“I think it’ll be exciting, something different for the kids,” Underwood said.
She hopes it will create a different attraction for kids, something different than the same standard pool that has always been there.
“I’m excited to see it go up,” she said.
The staff has not received the wall yet, but they hope to put it up by the time the pool opens for the summer on June 9.