New YMCA will offer double the pool fun

The new YMCA natatorium will feature a warm water recreation pool with a splash pad play area. It will be used for aerobics, swimming lessons and physical therapy. A second six-lane competition pool will provide space for the YMCA Dolphin and Oskaloosa School Swim Teams to practice and host meets.

OSKALOOSA — A year from now, the YMCA will open its new Early Childhood Education and Recreation Center at 1521 Green Street. One of the most anticipated features is the natatorium, or pool area.

The new YMCA will offer two pools: a warm water pool with a splash pad designed for play, water aerobics and physical therapy, and a six-lane, 25-yard competition pool with cooler water preferred by competitive swimmers.

“We conducted market research before the formal planning started, which showed the pool is our most popular feature,” said YMCA Board Member Linda Crookham-Hansen. “The pool is where young swimmers get acclimated to the water, begin working on the basics of swimming and take lessons, and learn water safety. We have a group of loyal lap swimmers who work out daily, others who take water aerobics in the morning, afternoons or nights, and both the Y Dolphin Swim Team and Oskaloosa Community School swim teams share the pool for workouts.”

The pool is also used for open swim when programs aren’t in session.

“Our research and members told us we needed more pool capacity,” said Crookham-Hansen. “Building two pools was a significant financial investment but necessary to provide the space and programming we need to serve the community.”

The competition pool will include six 25-yard lap lanes, seven feet wide. Starting blocks will be mounted on the deck surface in the deep end, and swimmers will have a touch pad at the finish line. A basketball goal is planned in the shallow area of the competition pool for members who want to play water basketball. A volleyball net will be installed in the competition pool as well. The competition pool will also feature a removable ADA lift.

The competition pool will include six 25-yard lanes and have touch pads at the finish line. The pool is designed so the YMCA can host swim meets with enough deck area to accommodate movable bleachers capable of seating 248 spectators.

The recreation pool will have spray pad water features. The warm water pool and splash pad will be equipped with an ADA accessible zero-entry walkway, like walking into the ocean. It will provide a more comfortable environment for individuals who need to use the pool for classes or physical therapy.

“I am so excited that with the lap pool and the rec/splash pad pool, the Y can now offer the appropriate temperatures for both groups,” said YMCA Aquatics Coordinator Rachel Groet. “Lap swimmers need the water colder, and the swimming lesson kids, seniors and physical therapy need the water warmer. With two pools, we can now offer both temps and make everyone happier. I can’t wait!”

“The popularity of the pool is what inspired our fundraising slogan, ‘Our Purpose is Deeper Than the Pool,’” said Mahaska YMCA CEO Matt Larson. “We are working to raise the final $2.5 million of our $14.5 million goal to fully fund the new Center and endowment.”

“People can donate on behalf of their family, in honor of another person or in celebration of a prize-winning Dolphin from previous years,” added Larson. “Every individual who donates will have their name featured on the donor wall in the building. The George Daily Trust has pledged to contribute $2 for every $1 raised in the community, making each pledge even more impactful.”

To learn more about the new Center or to donate, call the YMCA at 641-673-8411, or go to

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