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Time to dive in: Dickinson West River Community Center outdoor pool opens

Press Photo by Nadya Faulx Young swimmers cool off Friday at the West River Community Center’s outdoor pool during the facility’s opening day, almost a year after ground broke.1 / 2
Press Photo by Nadya Faulx An eager swimming tries out a speed slide Friday at the West River Community Center’s outdoor pool during the facility’s opening day.2 / 2

Almost a year after it broke ground, the West River Community Center outdoor pool opened its gates Friday to crowds of swimmers eager to escape the July heat.

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Even before the pool’s official “soft opening” at noon, dozens of families were lined up to hit the lazy river, three slides and T-Rex Cove play area.

The $6 million dinosaur-themed pool is the latest expansion project for the community center, with additional parking, open space, concession area and locker rooms.

“We’re very excited to get it going today,” Dickinson Parks and Recreation director James Kramer told a group of park and Dickinson City commissioners as they toured the pool prior to its “soft opening” Friday afternoon.

By code, the pool can handle up to 734 people at one time, but Kramer said initial numbers would be capped at 400 until staff gets acclimated.

Community center membership includes access to the pool; non-member fees are $6 for adults and $4 for kids.

Pool hours are 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily until Labor Day.

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