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Unalaska's Aquatic Center Reopens After Renovations

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska's Aquatic Center is reopening this weekend after six months of renovations.

While the swimming pool its?elf remains the same, Aquatics Manager Brina Lynch said the area has been upgraded with new start?ing blocks, a new scoreboard with a touch-pad timing system, and new speake?rs.

Those improvements should help the Raiders swim team and its supporters, according to Lynch.

"One of the things we heard from swimming fans was they could never hear the names of the kids swimming or the results," said Lynch. "So we now have a speaker system that plays music but can also make announcements."

Outside the pool area, Lynch said visitors will find remodeled locker rooms, resurfaced floors, and a family changing room that's fully accessible to pool-goers with disabilities.

The showers have also been renovated in the men's and women's locker rooms. Lynch said communal showers have been replaced by individual stalls with curtains for privacy and timers to conserve water.

"That was actually a public request," said Lynch. "We heard: 'The showers are always running. It's such a waste of water.' So now we've fixed that problem."

Despite the improvements, Lynch said she's not sure if the Aquatic Center will have a flood of new visitors when it reopens.

"We have a regular group of people who come for lap swims." she said. "But with the sauna expansion, I think I expect to draw a little bit of a bigger crowd."

The new sauna doubles the seating space of the previous steam room, and Lynch said its foldable bench makes it fully accessible.

The newly renovated Aquatic Center is hosting a grand reopening celebration on Sept. 4, when Unalaskans can tour the facility and swim. The pool's regular hours will resume on Sept. 6. 

Laura Kraegel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2020. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2019. We are proud to have her back in the spring of 2023 filling in as an interim reporter for KUCB.
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