By Elizabeth Hale
The Lubbock chapter of the Young Women’s Christian Association is set to open a new outdoors water park and an exercise facility in Lubbock this summer.
The renovation has been in the works since 2008 — two years after the YWCA bought the Sun ‘N Fun Aquatics Center at 6204 Elgin Ave., said Kelsey Johnson, director of the J.T. & Margaret Talkington YWCA at Sun ‘N Fun. The YWCA raised $8.5 million in donations for the project.
The new facility will include a full-size gym, dining facilities, a climbing wall, a weight room, two water slides and a splash pad. It is the result of a total overhaul of the property.
“We thought, ‘We might tear this down; well, maybe we’ll tear this down, too,’” Johnson recalled. “We realized we just wanted a completely brand new facility.”
A summer pass will cost $75 per person, and a summer pass holder must have a YWCA annual membership. Although the price may seem high, Johnson said, the cost makes sense when you break it down.
“We initially got some pushback on the rates for the summer pass,” she said. “Daily rates for non-members are $10 dollars for adults and $5 dollars for children. If you’re bringing your kids multiple times a week, the pass makes sense.”
Joey Pfund, the head of aquatic operations at the YWCA, said he is currently preparing his team of lifeguards for working at a water park, where they may come across unique situations they would not see at a regular pool.
“We currently conduct four hours a month of mandatory lifeguard training to stay current on tasks and drills,” Pfund said. “Gearing up for Sun ‘N Fun, I’m raising that to six. Safety is our main concern.”
Pfund said he is excited to extend the tradition of Sun N’ Fun to a new generation, bringing a community together to have fun.
“Sun ‘N Fun has lots of history in Lubbock, and prior to this remodel, it was the heart of the Lubbock community,” Pfund said. “I love hearing stories from people about how they grew up at the old Sun ‘N Fun and all the memories they had and can’t wait to make memories with their kids going forward. “
Sam Edwards, a lifeguard at the YWCA and current Texas Tech student, said he is excited for the challenge of working at a water park.
“It’s different in some ways, and that’s why we have to go through training specifically for water parks,” Edwards said. “It might be hard at first, but we have a good group who’s willing to put in the effort.”
The grand opening will be on May 28. Johnson said YWCA staff have not yet decided when the water park will close in the fall.