Nicholas Kik Pool - A Community Cornerstone and Summer Place to Be0
What makes Kalamazoo so unique? Well, it happens to have many installations that withstand the test of time as cornerstones of our community. One such place is the Nicholas Kik Pool, located at 1018 Walter Street.
Kik Pool is a facility that allows patrons to enjoy the water for many purposes. Those looking for a workout can take advantage of the fifty-meter pool, the more daring can take a plunge into the diving well, and the shallow end is perfect for families and those looking to cool down during the summer months. There is even a concession booth and a place to enjoy snacks on deck as well.
The original vision of Kik Pool in its inception was for it to be a community resource for all Kalamazoo residents to enjoy in the summer. Today for a nominal admission individuals and families can enjoy this well-kept facility with season passes available. Specifically those 12 and under accompanied by an adult or family member can enjoy the different pool areas set-up for all swimming abilities.
The Nicholas Kik Pool opened in 1971, when summertime meant playing outside and enjoying the summer sun. The pool was named on behalf of Nicholas Kik, the former director of the department who longed to facilitate a community center that would allow residents to meet new people, learn to swim, and help people to cool off in the summer.
Since its opening 47 years ago, the mission has remained constant, but its community niche has grown more stable. Today there are even opportunities to rent the facility for afternoon parties, but recently there has been a scaling back on these full pool rentals, in order to pull the Kik Pool back to its roots as an open community center.
Kik Pool also offers a variety of classes that include water aerobics, swim lessons, lap lanes, and an opportunity for a summer job for those looking to work in the sun. The opening of the pool each summer brings about 25 jobs for those looking to learn life skills in aquatic management and lifeguarding. More information about these job opportunities can be found by contacting the office of Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation.
Running such a prevalent facility does come with its own challenges. With it being built in 1971 one can imagine the continual arising repairs and updates required to keep the facilities up and running each year. Recreation Manager Ashton Anthony, of the Kalamazoo Department of Parks and Recreation shared, "With the cost of chemicals, staff, and repairs the pool is heavily subsidized but we are fortunate to have the backing of City Administration and Staff to help keep it going each year. Possibly the worst mechanical thing that could go bad did last year, the pump that pushes the water through the pool. That had the pool sidelined nearly two weeks. With the pump issues behind us we hope 2018 can be one of the best years yet!"
The summer season opens on Saturday, June 9, with the season closing on August 18. The only other scheduled closures are for a swim meet June 22-24 and on July 4th. Every year the pool staff looks forward to bringing back various classes like Aqua Power-much like water aerobics, but for all ages on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, along with Saturday mornings. This class is in partnership with Just Move Fitness and More, a local gym, committed to a healthier community. Think about Kik Pool as a place to exercise in a fun, new environment. Since swimming is an important life skill, Kik Pool offers summer swim lessons. All related information can be found in the 2018 activity guide on the KzooParks website including pricing and schedules.
One of the new offerings this year is the "Party on Deck," a rental package for youth birthday parties to use the deck for a party; prices start at $150 for a two-hour rental for up to 20 children, including cake and ice cream and your own dedicated party host. The pool will still be open to the public but there will be a reserved space for the party, along with other cool perks!
The Kalamazoo Kik Pool staff is looking forward to a great season and can't wait to add another year of service to the community!