The Beach

This colorful new structure is in the kids’ play area at The Beach Ottumwa. Parks Director Gene Rathje said Thursday that the new item has new cement under it. The Beach Ottumwa will open for the summer at noon Saturday and will be open daily from noon to 8 p.m.

New children’s play equipment awaits the kids who will be ready to swim this holiday weekend.

The Beach Ottumwa will open for the summer season at noon Saturday and will be open daily from noon to 8 p.m. Admission is $5.

“We’ll be open every day, if the weather’s permitting,” Parks Director Gene Rathje said.

He also showed off the new children’s play area. The castle-like structure is in the kids’ pool, and the area has new cement under the water.

Rathje also noted he has hired staff and finished a renovation that should help draw in more people. He said the water park has had increased attendance in spite of a problem in the kids’ area.

“This weekend will also be a big weekend at the Ottumwa Park campground,” Rathje said. “Traditionally we open on Memorial Day, but we started April 1. This weekend will be the busiest weekend of the year.”

The Summer Recreation program will begin June 4 at Memorial and Wildwood parks, and children can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, he added.

Rathje said a crew is still working on the renovations at City Hall and they hope to finish the lighting on the first, second and third floors and on City Hall.

Ottumwa Park will soon have outdoor fitness equipment due to a donation by Ottumwa Rotary Club.

In the past The Beach has been closed at this time of year. Rathje said there were no snow days this year so the Beach Ottumwa will open Saturday “and remain open daily straight on through the summer.

“If it’s too cold out, we’ll swim indoors,” Rathje said. “We’re charging $5 per person, so maybe we’ll get a Lazy River eventually.”

Building a Lazy River will cost about $2 million.

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