By Danielle Smith
Leader Staff Writer
If you thought you had to pack away your swim gear for the year, think again. Splash Zone is new to the neighborhood and hopes to make quite an impact on the community.
Opening over the summer, Splash Zone, located at 925 N. Lapeer Rd. inside Legacy 925, is an independently owned and operated swim school open to all ages and all levels. The school is open seven days a week, giving members plenty of opportunities to be in the water, whether that’s through swim classes, open swim or their three different fitness classes.
When Lawrence Gray, co-owner of Splash Zone, stumbled across the empty building, he knew he and co-owner, Rowan
Gavthier wanted to bring something special to Oxford.
“The facility was beautiful along with the community as well…I was surprised that the facility hadn’t been in use for over a year and…I just felt like this would be a tremendous opportunity for us and something that the community would enjoy as well,” Gray said.
The facility has two pools that are 4-feet-deep which Gray said “(is) not intimidating for anybody who’s not had a swim lesson before whether (they are) a child or an adult.”
Splash Zone operates on a membership basis, offering seven different packages ranging from one swim lesson per week to unlimited open swim and fitness classes.
“We wanted to move to a membership package because we feel that we can offer more competitive rates,” Gray said. “We feel that a membership-based service is something that is more economical and you can still get the great service that you need, that you might be accustomed to at one of the other places for a fraction of the cost.”
One of the unique packages offered is geared toward college students and senior citizens that gives those members “unlimited fitness classes and it gets (them) all of (their) open swim as well. So while they might not need swim lessons because they know how to swim, it still gets (them) as much swim time as (they) want during open swim sessions,” Gray said.
While he acknowledges that there are some great fitness facilities in the area, Gray said those facilities don’t have pools, so that’s where Splash Zone can jump in.
“We have facilities available to the public and to our members pretty much all day long. I am aware of other facilities who are only able to open when school gets out so their hours and their time is limited. We don’t have that constraint here,” he said. “We have fitness classes, which is something I don’t think anyone else in the area offers. We offer an amazingly warm pool temperature (kept between 86 and 89 degrees) which again is something else that other people don’t offer…it’s just a great place to be; we love the facility, we’re so happy to be a part of the community.”
Splash Zone isn’t just for those learning how to swim or taking fitness classes. The school can also be utilized by those that may have joint problems or ailments that make other forms of physical activity too painful to accomplish.
“The impact level (for swimming) is very low, so it helps with those joints, and we’ve had many members that sign up simply because they’ve had knee replacements or they’ve had this and they’ve had that and this is a way to kind of get them back on track; this is therapy for them,” Gray said.
While Splash Zone offers a variety of classes, open swim time and is willing to host parties, the team is always looking to develop more programs and create more opportunities to make sure everyone that wants to participate can do so.
“We are here for the community…we want this to be a two-way street which is why we want to develop programs like open swim for special needs kids. I know how important that is; I’m a father of a special needs child…that’s something that I’m very passionate about,” Gray said.
While Gray and his team didn’t have to do much to the interior of the building since it was a former swim facility, he is confident that guests will know that Splash Zone is unique and different as soon as they walk through the doors.
“Quite frankly, it was a beautiful facility to begin with. When we walked in, a lot of the infrastructure was already here,” he said. “I think how we made it our own is not what we’ve done with the building, but the people that we’ve invited into the building. It’s the employees that we’ve hired and trained and it’s the community that really makes Splash Zone what it is.”
For more information regarding the pool schedule and membership opportunities, visit www.splashzone925.com.