Tahlequatics Park

Students from Northeastern State University test the waterslide at Tahlequatics Park before the opening Monday, May 18. Students are left to right Tyler Elmore, Erin Toney, Emmanuel Jimenez.

New City Recreational Director Cathy Cooper recently got back from “pool school.”

Less than two months on the job, Cooper is doing everything she can to get herself ready to open Tahlequatics for its first full season.

“I am learning something new each day,” said Cooper.

With the support of Tahlequah citizens and local tax dollars, the city opened a state-of-the-art aquatics center in the summer of 2014. This new park is situated inside the Anthis-Brennan Family Sports Complex on West Allen Road, near the State Highway 51 west bypass.

The new facility features two diving boards, two large water slides, activities for the youngest of children, swimming lanes, sprinklers and more. Seven lifeguards are always on duty. The pool has a capacity of around 398.

Swimmers must be 48 inches tall with shoes off to go down a waterslide. Those who meet the specifications receive a bracelet, so lifeguards will know they are allowed on the slides.

The pool will open Saturday, May 16. Hours are Monday-Friday, 1-7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 1-8 p.m. Cost for the pool is $5 for 11 and older, and $3 for 11 and younger. Credit card machines are available.

“Children need to be accompanied by an adult,” said Cooper.

Cooper said private parties are available for a $500 deposit, $500 cost to rent, and must be after 7 p.m.. They can last until 11 p.m.

“If a person books a party, he will have to hire his own lifeguards,” said Cooper.

Birthday parties can rent a table at the pool for $20 an hour, or $60 all day. These are covered, and parties are allowed to bring a cake to the pool, but no other outside food, said Cooper.

Cooper hopes to get pool passes ready for sale in June. She also is working on plans for adult-only swimming and special-needs swimming.

“This will be the first full season,” said Cooper. “I want the community to enjoy the park, but not use it as a babysitter.”

Dee Dee Hensley will give swimming lessons Mondays through Thursdays beginning Monday, May 18 at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Cost is $30 for eight lessons, and each lesson is 45 minutes long. Lessons begin Monday, May 18 and continue through Thursday, Aug. 6. For more information on swimming lessons and to schedule lessons, call Cooper at 918-822-4768.

Charles Poteet, Tahlequah city parks director, said the splash pad opens Monday, May 18. Hours are 1-6 p.m. daily. He said the splash pad is open for anyone to enjoy during summer months.

“We have not decided yet when the splash pad will close for the season,” said Poteet.

The splash pad opened in 2014 at the corner of Water Avenue and Downing Street, not far from Norris Park and Sequoyah City Park.

Poteet said there are no skateboards allowed at the splash pad, and visitors there can use the public restrooms in Norris Park.

“There are trash bins on site and we ask people to please clean up after themselves,” said Poteet.

Visitors can activate the splash park themselves using state-of-the-art technology.

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