Aerobics class leads resurgence of pool

September 2, 2011

By Staff

At first, it sounds simple: fitness classes in a pool.

But the plot thickens once the pool’s site, Hazen High School, appears.

Budget cuts threatened Hazen’s pool until late June. Only a fundraiser could save it from closing.

“The Renton School District wanted the community to raise $60,000 to keep it open,” said Jen Ben, the pool’s manager. “They raised $78,000.”

Ben is a former Hazen High swimmer, and a 13-year employee of the pool.

“It was definitely personal,” she said, “This is a great asset for the community.”

Besides swimming lessons, Seamount League championships and district championships, two year-round teams and three high school teams call the Hazen pool home.

Now you can add Redmond-based Aquarobics to the list.

“I was looking for more programs, more variety for the pool,” Ben said. “People have been requesting a program like that.”

Starting Sept. 13, Aquarobics will host two classes there: a cardiovascular workout and group water therapy.

While the former helps burn calories and build muscles, the latter helps people with severe arthritis, joint replacement or back problems, said Carolyn Scott, owner of Aquarobics. Both classes last one hour.

Instructors will not improvise, Scott said. Classes have been designed with help from surgeons and physical therapists.

People of all ages and swimming abilities can participate, Scott said.

The fitness class, “Aquarobics,” will be from 9-10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Sept. 13 to Oct. 13. The therapy class, “Water Motion,” will be from 10:15-11:15 a.m. on the same dates.

A five-week session is $80, with the first class free.

People unable to attend all of the classes can pay $12 per class instead.

“Sometimes people say, ‘I can’t make all 10, but I can make five,’” Scott said. “It would be cheaper for them to pay $12 each for five than $80 for 10.”

While the students benefit, the pool will, too, Ben said.

“As long as the program is successful,” she said, “we will get some revenue from it. That will help us keep the pool open.”

So this class is not just another gathering. It’s a class people requested, in a building the same people helped save.

“We had kids from swimming lessons bringing piggy bank change,” Ben said, “and giving it to us as donations.”

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