The Marion water park on track to open at the end of May | Local News

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Stephanie Porter-Nichols | Smyth County News and Messenger

Excitement is building as Marion’s water park prepares to open in about a month.

Marion Councilman Avery Cornett said the feedback he was getting from community members was solid. Cornett, who chairs the city council’s recreation committee, is pleased with the outcome. “It makes people think more about recreation in the town of Marion,” he said at the council meeting last week.

With the old basic municipal pool now filled with water and glistening in the spring day sunshine, City Manager Bill Rush reported that at least 30 private parties have already been booked at the water park.

Rush noted that music and camera systems have been installed, lumber for some additional construction is on site, and he thinks city crews will easily finish the job by the scheduled weekend opening of the Memorial Day.

In the spring of 2021, the council decided to renovate and improve its outdoor swimming pool. Along the way, city crews discovered that the pool still needed more work, and so in January, city officials opted to expand the project even further and turn the pool into a park. aquatic. To do so, they have dedicated up to $525,000 of the city’s $5.7 million in federal pandemic relief funds.

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The water park will feature a beach entrance, also known as a zero-entry pool, on its shallow end. Beach entry pools are designed so that at least one side gradually slopes into the water, allowing users to enter the pool.

In the pool area at the entrance to the beach, the water would remain shallow and would be surrounded by a raised paddling pool and a bedding wall.

Plans also call for the addition of a waterslide in the deepest part as well as diving boards. A pergola with tables and chairs to provide shaded seating will be built, and background music will also be new.

The pool house is being renovated to create a party/event room, and while the works are in progress the roof is being replaced and the toilets are being renovated.

An elevated play area is also in preparation for construction in spring 2023.

Daily admission will remain at $5, the same entry fee for years past.

Season passes will also be available for the water park, which will be open throughout Labor Day weekend.

For the 85-day season, the pass will be $175 for children 3-11 years old. A season pass will increase to $200 for youth ages 12-21 and $250 for those 22 and older.

Thursday evenings will be family night at the park. Along with the $5 per person admission, the town will provide hot dogs and drinking water, pool time, and other activities.

A new rule this year requires a guardian to be present with any child under 12, and so a non-swim season pass will be available for $125.

With these additional costs particularly in mind, council member Susie Jennings called on the city to develop some type of scholarship program to help low-income families, and she volunteered to help with the effort. Jennings stressed that she wants all the kids to be able to use the water park.

The water park will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Except on Thursdays, individuals and groups can rent the water park for parties and evening events. For groups of one to 49, the fee will be $250. It will be $350 for 50 to 99 people; $400 for 100-149; and $500 for 150-200. Options are available to purchase additional time or rent the party room. It will also be possible to reduce costs by agreeing not to use the diving boards or slides.

The calendar with possible booking dates will be available on Marion’s website — marionva.org. The website is the only way to book parties.

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