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Fort Riley community dives into summer with opening of Custer Hill Aquatic Park

By Season Osterfeld | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | July 11, 2017

     “Cannonball!” Fort Riley Gar­rison Command Sgt. Maj. James Collins yelled as he leapt from the high diving board into the pool at Custer Hill Aquatic Park. Giggles and shrieks imme­diately followed from more than 90 children with School Age Ser­vices who took Collins’ dive as the green light to enter the pool and came rush­ing into the wa­ter from the zero-entry slope.

     The Custer Hill Aquatic Park had its grand opening with speeches from Col. John D. Lawrence, Fort Riley garrison commander and Scott Scherberger, Recreation Division chief, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, a surprise cannonball from Collins and a buoy cutting in place of a traditional ribbon cutting June 30.

     “What you see in front of you is another example of the level of emphasis we put on taking care of the Soldiers, families, civilians and retir­ees who call Fort Riley their home,” Scherberger said. “Over the last five years we have made many changes to Custer Hill Pool. In 2012, we added the ADA (Ameri­can Disability Act) accessible splash pad … In 2016 the old pool house was demolished and replaced with the new structure … And finally in 2017 the pool has been totally renovated, looking much dif­ferent today than it did when it closed on Aug. 15, 2016 for work to begin.”

     The new aquatic park has a zero-depth entry in the main and baby pools, a lazy river, water slides, two diving boards and more. In total, there are 520,000 gallons of water in the park, he said.

     “Facilities like the new Custer Hill Aquatic Park are part of our commitment to make Fort Riley home; to pro­vide terrific recreation oppor­tunities for our Soldiers and families; to make life here more than training and working and deploying,” Lawrence said.

     Programs like Bubble Gup­pies, Aqua Zumba, Fitness Hour and more will be relocat­ing to the Custer Hill Aquatic Park from Eyster Pool, he said.

     “This updated facility will provide recreation and oppor­tunities to build resilience but also physical and safety train­ing,” Lawrence said. “As Scott mentioned, swim lessons for all skill levels — ages 6 months to 100 years — are available here. Evening programs like Fitness Hour and Aqua Zumba are be­ing offered too.”

     Following the grand open­ing, the park opened up for free for the day with the Splish Splash Beach Bash party fea­turing music, food and more as DFMWR and USO Fort Riley partnered to make it possible.

     “I’ve been here for 18 years,” said Hedy Noveroske, Aquatic Program manager. “I’ve been a lifeguard since I was 15 at this pool and to see it renovated and to see finally we’ve got an aquatic facility that the Fort Riley commu­nity deserves and needs is just a blessing. It’s the highlight of everything.”

 

Tag Swimming Pools