Location: 700 N. Third Street, Albia, Iowa. The Aquatic Center is located on the Northeast edge of town. Go north through the square and take any right turn. Go a couple of blocks and take a left. You will run right into the Aquatic Center. If you find yourself on the north edge of town, look for the John Deere Implement Store. The Aquatic Center is just behind the store.
Entry into the Aquatic Center has changed for 2012. Season pass holders or punch cards enter through the main entrance. Guests paying daily admission, use the entrance near the concession stand. Hint: The entrance near the concession stand is closer to the chairs, but farther away from the locker rooms. This line also seems to "move" faster than the pass holder/punch card line.
We didn't know this, even though we saw a sign on the gate saying "Pass Holders." It wasn't until we saw a line forming on the other side that we asked others in line and then moved to the daily admission line. It might be helpful to have a second sign indicating that daily admission is paid at the other entrance.
Cost: $2.50 per person; Individual and Family Passes and Punch Cards are available
Hours: 1:00-7:00 pm daily
Description: The Monroe County Aquatic Center is an outdoor facility featuring zero depth entry, water sprays, a lap swim section, two slides, and two diving boards.
Rules to Know: Small floaties, masks, goggles, dive sticks, and water balls are all OK. We brought in a foam noodle. Coolers are not OK and neither are swim suits with any metal grommets or zippers. This is also a non-smoking facility. Every hour and a half or so the guards all blow their whistles for a 15 minute time out of the pool.
Food: Water, Bug Juice, Popcorn, chips, hot dogs, candy, and frozen treats ranging in price from $.75-2.50.
Cleanliness: Very clean.
Friendliness: Very friendly. If you are a regular you will be recognized and if you have a pass-- the same. No need to bring the pass, they will check off your name on the list by the door even before you enter.
Pros: This is a lovely community pool. They are not short on guests which is a good thing. There is plenty for the kids to do. The slides and diving boards add another element of fun. THE PRICE! This is one of the least expensive if not THE least expensive pool in Southeast Iowa. Let's hope it stays that way! This pool has a "Family Restroom" an amenity I have yet to see at any other pool. This makes it easier for a parent to help young children or a disabled patron who may need assistance. There was a dad there with his young daughter and I thought how great the "Family Restroom" would be in his situation. There are several shade structures, one over a shallow portion of the pool for young children.
Cons: This lovely community pool can get a bit crowded and sometimes finding a chair can be difficult. I'm not sure if you can bring in your own chair, but that may be a possibility. If you want to eat something other than a snack, you will have to go elsewhere.(Note: Hot dogs have been added to the menu for summer 2011.) The shade structure over the shallow portion of the pool mentioned in the "Pros" is also surrounded by water sprays. Knowing that babies and young children don't like to get sprayed, this area goes somewhat unused. Not good planning to put the water jets by an area that very young children would enjoy. Also, the guards need a refresher on maintaining eye contact with the pool when switching stations. Even though there is a web-site, some of the information on the site is not accurate, for example the hours of operation and that it is the "New" Monroe County Aquatic Center. The pool has been open for 5 years. It is time to update the web-site.
Fun Factor: Now that the boy is tall enough (48") for the slides, the fun factor has gone up. The diving boards are a great addition. We spent 2 1/2 hours there and enjoyed every minute!
Since we are making rounds in Southeast Iowa to check out the pools, click here to read about our experience at The Beach Ottumwa.