A project years in the making, the new Gateway Aquatic Center held their Grand Opening on Saturday July 28th, 2012 to much affair. Following the official ribbon cutting was the much anticipated “Big Splash,” where 100 lucky ticket winners simultaneously jumped into the pools, marking the official opening of the new $24 million dollar aquatic expansion to the existing Gateway Recreation Center.
With the city’s existing pool no longer meeting the town’s needs, Counsilman Hunsaker teamed with Architects Alaska, to design a showcase aquatic center intended to rejuvenate aquatics into the community. The 35,000 square foot expansion features an eight lane Competition Pool and a large Multipurpose Pool, a 1-meter and a 3-meter diving board and a fully integrated timing system and scoreboard, a climbing wall, two water slides, a multiple level play structure, and a vortex.
Aquatic Supervisor Karen Taylor says “[the opening has been] really exciting, we’re maxing out our numbers every day.” With much positive feedback, the borough staff is pleased with the project’s turnout. “The kids are really liking it,” continues Taylor, “the adults, the teenagers, there’s something for everybody here.”
The water slides have especially been a huge hit by both kids and adults. The yellow “Tongass Tower” is an open flume slide spilling into the Multipurpose Pool, while the blue “Drop Slide” ejecting the rider four feet over the water, shooting you into the Competition Pool’s.
Starting August 6th, the Ketchikan High School’s King Salmon swim team will begin training at the new facility. If you are in town August 24th, be sure to cheer on the Kings as they host their inaugural swim meet against Metlakatla, Petersburg and Thunder Mountain.
Gateway Aquatic Center
601 Schoenbar Road
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901