News: FMWR opens new aquatic center
Story by Sgt. Robert Golden
FORT BLISS, Texas – A new Aquatic Training Center opened here Monday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that signified the successful completion of months of construction for the fourth addition to the East Bliss Town Center along Constitution Avenue on East Fort Bliss.
The ceremony included a tour through the facility with exhibitions of the activities, including drown proofing, swimming, water polo, kayaking, rock climbing and a demonstration of shallow water egress training.
The ATC has three pools – a diving well, a multipurpose pool with a rock wall for climbing, and an Olympic-sized pool with a bulkhead that can be moved to split the 50-meter pool into 25-meter sections to create a lap pool with the open side configurable for various types of training.
Following the exhibitions, the pools were open for public use and patrons were lined up and waiting to dive in.
“There were people in the walk-through that had their swimming clothes with them and were ready to jump in,” said Aaron K. Jones, the Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation sports director here. “I even saw a couple kids whose dad took them out of school so they could be the first kids in the pool.”
The FMWR will see how the community uses the facility to find which areas need more focus before adjusting the pools or making changes to the program, said Jones.
“It will also show us what we can do to better the community as a whole,” said Jones.
Currently, the facility and all pools are open on a first come, first served basis. Reservations are not required, but can be made by units for training between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the dive tank or open half of the Olympic-sized pool.
“Give us a week or so to get set up and we will be ready to take reservations,” said Jones.
Units may schedule reservations in person or by calling 741-5901. More information may also be found on the FMWR site www.blissmwr.com or facebook.com/blissmwr.