Charlie Underdown at Washington's Agnes Nolting Aquatic Complex

Charlie Underdown, 2, sprints through the children’s splash pad at the Agnes Nolting Aquatic Complex June 10 in Washington. Temperatures for Thursday reached into the lower 90s.

The new Agnes Nolting Aquatic Complex in Washington is proving to be a popular attraction for children and families looking to escape the first sweltering heat wave of the year, according to city officials who discussed the new pool at this week’s Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. 

On Sunday, the new swimming pool reached maximum capacity, resulting in lines outside of the pool office, according to Washington Parks and Recreation Director Wayne Dunker. 

“That was the first time we have had to do that,” Dunker said. “I don’t think it has ever happened before, even at the old pool. Maybe in 1936, but I don’t think it ever happened in recent memory.”

The new pool and pool deck, which opened Memorial Day weekend, has a capacity of 350 people, with an additional 46 people maximum on the splash pad area. The pool’s capacity threshold was determined by Westport Pools, the construction company behind the $4.2 million, 320,000-gallon pool. 

Dunker said the pool staff, including lifeguards, count each person in the pool, including the deck area, to determine if the pool has reached capacity. 

Another indicator of the new pool’s popularity — the robust sale of punch cards. 

So far this pool season, the parks department has sold more than 440 punch cards. The cards, available for purchase online at washmoparks.gov or in person at the pool house, can be used for 20 or 10 visits, depending on the card purchased.

According to Dunker, “attendance has been good” throughout the week. Thursday evening, a crowd of 250 people was at the pool. “It seems like everyone was taking advantage of the pool to try and stay cool.” 

Dunker said the newly expanded concession stand area is also proving popular with pool-goers. 

The new pool features a rock climbing wall, a poolside basketball rim, diving boards, a waterfall and several kid-friendly play areas. 

The pool also is available for private rentals and swim parties, and Dunker said the parks department already has had several reservations made for birthday parties. “The demand was clearly there for something that we have never had before.” 

Dunker said more features could be added to the pool in the future, as the Washington Rotary Club has expressed interest in sponsoring one of the two additional shade structures planned for the pool. Each of the shade structures cost about $5,100 each.

Dunker said the pool also is considering adding a second slide in “maybe one or two years.” The second slide, which would be 109 feet in length, would be built near the 165-foot slide and would cost about $125,000 to build. 

Those interested in contributing are encouraged to reach out to Dunker to discuss details.

The pool is open daily from noon until 6:30 p.m.