In 1943-44 a swimming pool behind city hall at 90 West Main in Salina was built and in 1974, after thirty years of providing summer recreation to the community, the pool was demolished in preparation for construction of a new modern pool.
A Salina Sun newspaper report from June, 1975, said work was progressing rapidly on the new swimming pool in Salina. “The completion deadline is past, and the City is currently deciding if they will give an extension. Contractors said that in order to complete the building by July 4, power lines must be buried, pool has to be sprayed with final coating, dressing rooms would have to be finished (they are in the early stages thus far) and leveling and asphalting of the parking lot would have to be done. The pool could be used without the parking lot completion.”
Another article, July 3, 1975 said construction crews were winding up the cement work around the Salina Municipal Swimming Pool, and the contractors were looking toward a July 24th opening. Utah Power and Light planned to finish burying power lines and a special tile-backed cinderblock for the inside of the dressing rooms were waiting shipment from the manufacturer. It said this has been one of the main causes for the delayed opening of the pool- the inability to get material on schedule. Still left to be completed was asphalt covering for the parking lot, most of the finishing work in the inside of the dressing rooms, plumbing, electrical work, etc.
The article ended, “Have patience, all you swimmers- and look forward to a refreshing dip toward the end of the month!”
Salina City Council meeting minutes dated August 18, 1975, reports that the council members went over to the swimming pool to examine the progress that had been made. The landscaping and parking area was the main discussion, and how they should be completed. Warren Crane made a motion that a retaining wall be built around the pool area and a sidewalk along the north side of the city hall poured. The motion passed.
At the meeting Lee Christensen stated he was interested in managing the pool and had spent the previous week with the man from Aquatech learning to run the pumps and take care of the pol. He said it would be quite expensive to run the heaters this time of year, but it would be good for the filters and the pool to have people swimming in it. Lee said he has had live saving from SUSC and EMT training. The council felt Lee should be given the job. They felt if the bathhouse was completed while the weather was still warm, it should be opened if Lee could do so this year. The fees for swimming were discussed, and it felt that if opened, no charge would be made this year, but any help on completing the landscaping would be appreciated. Lee offered to donate his time, but the council said they would be willing to pay him, and a wage could be worked out after he sees how much time it will take to run it. Lee asked about letting the school kids swim. The mayor said the city would cooperate in any way that was for the young people.
A “slickery slide” was added to the pool in 1979, solar heat was added 1983 and there was a new fiberglass coating put on the surface of the pool’s bottom in 1983 as well. In the summer of 1999, the old slide was replaced with a brand new one and in 2000 a new natural gas heater was installed with 1,160,000 BTU which supplemented the solar panels to maintain an 82-84 degree water temperature.
On July 3, 2000 a 25-year celebration honoring pool manager Lee Christensen was held for his years of service. At this time, he had worked under the jurisdiction of 7 mayors and 6 city council members. Lee ended up managing the pool for over thirty three years, after which Paula Quarnberg managed for multiple years, then Kelsha Bailey before it’s closure in 2017.
After four years of hard work, dedication, sacrifice, and persistence, the newly remodeled Salina City Swimming pool hosted a Grand Opening ceremony Monday, July 5, 2021. Mayor Jed Maxwell thanked everyone involved for their support and expressed sincere gratitude that the project was nearing completion. At the opening he said the $1.3 million dollar project still had components unfinished, such as diving boards which are on back order, shade canopies, and lifeguard chairs to name a few, but it had passed inspections and opened for regular business and private rentals July 6, 2022.
Manager Bree Nielsen is currently in her second year of management and the facility employs 14 guards and 4 office staff. The pool runs at max capacity several days per week and evening rentals are booked solid throughout the season.