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School thins crowds at aquatic center
But team practices, parties picking up
Pool WEB 1
Though the return to school for area children has caused a drop in attendance at the Cumming Aquatic Center, the facility has seen an up-tick in the number of parties. - photo by File photo

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More information about the Cumming Aquatic Center hours and operations can be found online at  The center is at 201 Aquatic Circle, phone number is (770) 781-1781.

Since school started back last week, there has been less splashing at the Cumming Aquatic Center.

Cumming Recreation and Parks Director Greg Little said staff members have “seen significantly smaller crowds” since students returned to class Aug. 11.

“I don’t have exact numbers, but attendance definitely isn’t the average of 900 we had in the weeks before school started back,” he said.

At the same time, however, Little said they have seen a slight uptick in private function rentals.

“We are benefitting from increased birthday parties and baseball and softball teams renting out the cabanas and party rooms,” he said.

The 50,000-square-foot facility off Pilgrim Mill Road, near Exit 16 at Ga. 400, opened to the public on June 27, just in time to help folks beat scorching summer temperatures.

On opening day, when admission was free, the $15 million center welcomed more than 2,000 people.

The primary draw was the center’s outdoor pool, with its kids’ splash play area, lazy river and 156-foot water slide.

The outdoor pool will remain open through Labor Day, but on a different schedule.

Little said the hours on weekdays have changed from all day to 4 to 8 p.m.

On Saturday and Sunday, the hours remain the same.

“Labor Day will be the last day for the outdoor pool. We’ll have the same hours that day that we do on Sundays – 1 to 6 p.m.,” Little said. “Then we’ll close that pool for the season.”

The center’s two indoor pools will adjust their hours beginning Sept. 6.

The 25-lane competition pool will be open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. during the week, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The warm-water instructional pool will be available for open swim from noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; noon to 5:30 p.m. Friday; and 2 to 5 p.m. on weekends.

Little said a new fall schedule of swim lessons has also been released.

“The fall schedule is completely different than what we had this summer,” he said. “We’ve extended beyond the basic levels and added a few more classes at higher levels for adults.”

Little said a schedule of water exercise classes will also be released for fall, although staff members are finalizing it.

The center’s three swim teams have also recently begun practicing in the competition pool.

The Cumming Waves, North Georgia Aquatic and Chattahoochee Gold will use the facility year round.

Little said all three groups focus primarily on youth swimming, although some may branch into older groups in the future.

Staff members are also working to coordinate with high schools in Forsyth, Little said.

“The high school season begins around October, so we should have those teams in for practices pretty soon,” he said. “We’re trying to coordinate with all those coaches now.”

Little said some room will always remain in the competition pool for those wishing to swim laps.

“People got a little spoiled this summer when we didn’t have many teams in there, so half the pool was open for lap swimming,” he said.

“There won’t be as many lanes open now with our teams going, but there will still be room. People will just have to share the lanes a little more.”