GARDEN CITY, Kansas – The Garden City Big Pool once had a claim to fame for being the largest free municipal, concrete pool in the world.
Now that they charge an entrance fee it lost that title, but it is still widely known.
“We’ll have anywhere from 500 to 1,500 swimmers in a day,” said Monica Colborn, the Aquatics Director for the Garden City Recreation Commission.
It takes well over 2 million gallons to fill the pool, but for Garden City and the surrounding communities the Big Pool is a valuable resource.
“Since the 1920s it’s been an icon,” said Colborn.
“It gives families the opportunity to come out and get some exercise and be together,” said Head Lifeguard Jordan Arellano.
The appreciation of the pool seems to stay strong even with the drought.
“No one has shown any concern with the water usage there at the pool,” said the Garden City Water Department’s Superintendent Tony Hurtado. “It’s a onetime fill, pretty much. Once it’s full it’s recycled and filtered.”
In the summer the city uses about six million gallons of water each day, making a onetime fill of two million seem like a bit less.
“I think the community can look past that and see what a wonderful facility we have to use in our community,” Colborn said.
The city doesn’t let that water go to waste either. When they drain the pool at the end of the season they use it to water the surrounding grass.
The pool opened on Saturday in time for Memorial Day weekend. The gates open at one pm and admission is $2, that includes access to the water slides.