The swimming pool at Deseret Peak Complex stirred to life Wednesday afternoon like a hibernating bear awakening after a long winter’s rest.
Maintenance crews power washed the pool’s deck and plastic lawn chairs. Lifeguards did emergency drills in the water to complete safety training. Trustees from the county jail finished construction of a fence around the pool’s volleyball court. And health department officials tested the water.
The largest single-piece outdoor pool in Utah will open with a new name at noon on Saturday, after being closed last year due to Tooele County’s financial struggles.
For $35,000 a year for the next three years, the pool at Deseret Peak Complex will be known as the EnergySolutions Aquatics Center.
The new name is part of a three-year agreement that Tooele County Commissioners approved at their public meeting on Tuesday night.
“EnergySolutions is deeply committed to the county,” said James Miller, EnergySolutions vice president and general manager of the company’s Clive facility. “We are pleased to be part of the effort to open the aquatic center.”
Closed in 2013, the popular pool had been operating with an annual deficit that ranged between $120,000 and $220,000, according to Commissioner Shawn Milne.
In 2014 the pool is expected to generate $221,000 in revenue but accrue $285,000 in expenses, leaving a $64,000 deficit.
The EnergySolutions’ multi-year commitment, along with contributions from other businesses, is the result of a combined effort by the county’s business community to reopen the pool, according to Isaac Astill, Tooele County facilities manager.
The county has received $10,000 from US Magnesium, $5,000 from Rio Tinto, $3,000 from Utah Fabrication, and $500 from Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, according to Astill.
The Tooele County Recreation Service District, which receives money from the state that is earmarked for use for roads or recreation, approved a $10,000 grant for the Deseret Peak pool, Astill said.
Reopening a dormant pool has proved to be a dirty task, according to Mark McKendrick, Tooele County parks and recreation director.
“We’ve done a lot of cleaning and painting,” he said.
The county kept the pool partially filled with water last year and ran the pumps a few times to keep everything in working order in anticipation that the pool would one day reopen, said McKendrick.
The EnergySolutions Aquatic Center includes a beach wading area with three water toys, a water slide, and an eight lane Olympic size pool with two diving boards.
The pool will open on May 24 for Memorial Day Weekend and the last day of the 2014 season will be Aug. 16, the Saturday before school starts.
Pool hours will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday, with swimming lessons held Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until noon. The pool may be rented by groups during evenings from 7-10 for $225 per hour.
The daily entrance is $4 per person, and punch cards good for 10 entrances, will sell for $30.
A block of eight swimming lessons may be purchased for $45. Astill said the county is accepting reservations online for swimming lessons.
Milne said the pool was sorely missed by the public last year.
“We are thankful for all the efforts that have helped us bring this valuable asset back to the people,” he said.