Donner Aquatic Center to open pool season Memorial Day weekend

Mike Wolanin | The Republic People swim in the main pool at Donner Aquatic Center in Columbus, Ind., Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

Donner Aquatic Center will kick off its annual season by offering public swimming throughout the Memorial Day weekend.

From Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 26, the hours for open swimming will be from noon until 6 p.m. Beginning on Tuesday, May 27, weekday hours will be from 1 to 6 p.m.

While weekend hours will be noon until 6 p.m., the facility will be closed from Friday, May 31 through Sunday, June 2 for the annual Jaime Miller Invitational Swim Meet. Last year, the competitive event attracted 21 teams and 535 swimmers to the facility in Donner Park.

Admission for open swimming sessions is $6 for adults 18 and over, while kids between 6 and 17 pay $5. For pre-schoolers between the ages of 3 and 5, the cost is $3. Infants and toddlers up to 2 years old are admitted free.

Standard season passes are priced this year at $50, while a masters swim season pass costs $60.

For those on a tight budget, the popular free swim sessions are back from 5 to 6 p.m. each day the center is open for public swimming. The preschool swim time for parents with very young children will take place Saturdays only from 10 to 11 a.m. Admission is $1 per person.

Those who wish to sign up for swim lessons during Session 1, which will be held June 3 through 13 must do so prior to the last day of May. With the exception of lessons for preschool children and younger, swim lessons are held in the evening.

During it’s 76-year history, the facility commonly referred to as Donner Pool has traditionally opened at the start of the Memorial Day weekend.

In 2022, the aquatic center closed July 17 to fit the timetable of a contractor working on a $1 million renovation. Parks officials said that if the water park had not closed early year, inflation would have likely caused a significant rise in repair costs.

In 2021, health concerns raised by COVID-19 limited the maximum capacity to 200 people, including staff. That summer was also exceptionally rough in terms of weather. There were several days when no swimmers showed up due to rain, threatening skies or uncomfortably cool temperatures.

And in 2020, a mid-May announcement stated that the Donner Aquatic Center would not open at all that year due to the pandemic.

This year’s summer swimming sessions will continue until Aug. 2. After that, weekday hours will be 4 to 7 p.m. while weekend hours will not change. Donner Aquatic Center will close for the season on Aug. 13.