Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus Open

Posted on June 21, 2017

July 1 was a monumental day in Lakeside’s history as we gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus.

More than 1,000 community members joined in the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The community’s excitement and energy could be felt throughout the Lakeside grounds as children gathered in their swimsuits, ready to make their first big splash in the pool.

The dedication began with music and a praise response read by Betty Jane Young, a member of the Campaign Leadership Team.

Mark and Jane Grindley and Mitch and Christine Grindley shared why it was so important to them to support Lakeside with their transformational gift.

“If not us, than who?” Mark said, calling the community to step into action now to help impact the experience of future Lakesiders.

Mitch reflected on his coming of age years at Lakeside, working various jobs across the grounds… but never as a lifeguard, which was the most sought after job for any young Lakesider.

“My hope is that my grandson will have a chance at the lifeguarding job that I never got,” he joked.

The next generation of the Grindley family, Andy and Katie, shared about their experiences at Lakeside, and the gratitude of the community could be felt as scriptures of generosity and dedication prayers were shared.

Kevin Sibbring, Lakeside Chautauqua President/CEO, expressed thanks to the community and the many teams that helped make this all possible.

“From the little kids with their lemonade stands, to the families that came together to give gifts and pledges, this truly was a community effort,” he said. “This could not have happened without the amazing spirit of generosity in Lakeside.”

In closing, the Rev. Dr. Ned Dewire dedicated the campus to the use of Lakeside’s mission of nurturing mind, body and spirit.

As the finale to the dedication service, Mark and Mitch Grindley cut the ribbon to officially open the Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus for the first time.

Throughout the rest of the holiday weekend and week, families have continued to gather at the campus. Upwards of 1,000 people have been swimming daily at the pool, and more than 45 lap swimmers have gathered in the morning to exercise.

As Lakeside continues to celebrate and enjoy another summer, we continue to give thanks for this exciting new gift to our community.

Campus Buildings

The Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus is located on the corner of Laurel Avenue and Sixth Street. Within the campus sits the entry building, pool building, community swimming pool and wellness center, which are all handicap accessible.  

Walking into the facility there is a ramp and a patio table with chairs covered by a bright blue umbrella. Also, a restroom can be accessed from outside of the campus.

The entry building has two areas. The space on the right includes the admissions window and lifeguard office. Please present your Daily, Saturday or Season Chautauqua pass to receive a colored wristband daily for swimming.  

As you enter, on the left, a Grab & Go station is available with drinks and snacks.

Walking forward, you’ll see the 6,000 square foot pool, capable of holding more than 400 swimmers. The swimming pool features heated water, zero-depth entry, a water slide, five lap lanes and an expansive pool deck for families to gather. The water slide has two fiberglass flumes; one open and the other closed. Swimmers must be taller than 48” to ride.   

Strolling along the west side of the pool is the pool building, which houses restrooms, changing rooms, showers and the mechanical room.

South of the pool sits the wellness center, which will include two multi-purpose rooms and an equipment room with a few treadmills, ellipticals, a rowing machine and stationary bikes. Stay tuned for more information about the Wellness Center in the months to come.      

Please note that we will start with the following regulations and processes below, but will adjust according to demand and usage of the new facility.

Hours of Operation

The pool will operate during the following hours. A break is scheduled for the last 15 minutes of every hour. During the family open swim, the water slide will also be open.

Unless the pool is crowded, the lifeguards will have one or two lap lanes open the entire day so swimmers can incorporate laps into their daily routine.

  • Lap Swim: 7-8:30 a.m.
  • Swim Lessons & Water Classes: 8:30-11 a.m. (Visit the Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus Admissions Office in the entry building for details and sign up information.)
  • Open Swim: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Open Swim: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Open Swim: 12-6 p.m.

Admissions & Entry

Upon entering the Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus from the entry building, guests will need to present a Chautauqua Pass. A Daily, Saturday or Season Chautauqua Pass is required for admission, similar to Hoover Auditorium shows. Chautauqua Passes must be purchased at the Lakeside Chautauqua gates, Welcome Center or Hoover Ticket Office. Passes will not be sold at the Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus.

Complimentary Passes (Church, Faith for Living Hour, Laundromat, Orchestra Hall Movie and the Shopping/Dinning); Special Passes (Garden Tour, Lakeside Women’s Club Tour of Homes, Antique Show, etc.); and the Partial Day Pass (three-hours) do not include admission to the Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus.

Once a Chautauqua Pass is presented, swimmers will obtain a daily waterproof wristband. Children age 12 and under must be accompanied by a Daily, Saturday or Season Chautauqua Pass holder to swim. 

Parking, Bikes & Golf Carts

Limited parking for cars, bikes and golf carts is located on the north side of Sixth Street. There will be two reserved handicap spaces and two additional spaces reserved for drop-off and pick-up.

Golf cart parking is located across the street from the Lakeside Grounds Building on the corner of Vine Avenue and Sixth Street.

Bike parking is also on the corner of Vine Avenue and Sixth Street or in a bike rack. Please do not park bikes, scooters or other modes of transportation in the grass or in flowers.

Given our mission of wellness, we encourage walking to this new facility. For your safety, additional four-way stops have been added in the area and a pedestrian crosswalk is located in front of the entry building.


An additional shuttle route will be added once the new facility opens. There will be a dedicated shuttle route from both hotels and the business district that will take guests to the pool and wellness center. Two blue pool shuttles (with blue flags) will be available for guests. The shuttle stop at the pool will be located at the entry building on Sixth Street.

Safety & Use

Your collaboration in following the safety regulations will help ensure your safe enjoyment of this new facility. As we use the new Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus, we ask that you follow the lifeguards’ directions at all times.

Swimmers are asked to shower before using the new swimming pool and keep their area clean while using the facility. There is no diving.   

Individuals should not leave children unattended, even for a few moments. Diaper dependent swimmers must wear swim diapers or snug plastic pants under swimsuits. Swim diapers can be purchased at the Admissions Office in the Entry Building for $1 each.

Children age 5 and older should use gender appropriate locker rooms or family bathrooms.

Lifeguards will use a single short whistle blast to gain a swimmer’s attention and a long whistle blast to clear the pool for a rest break and/or emergency. Guests are encouraged to listen to the lifeguard for further instructions.

Swimmers will not be permitted to use inflatables, water wings, noodles or any other floaties. Kickboards, pull buoys and jogging belts may be used in the lap lanes only. Life jackets are permitted, and a limited number are available for use for the safety of non-swimmers. Puddle jumpers are also permitted. For the safety of all, it is important not to run on the concrete pool deck.

Families and individuals should plan ahead before using the new facility and bring along sunscreen, towels and flip flops. Wi-Fi will be available.   

In the event of a thunderstorm, pool activities will be suspended until 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard.  

Lemonade stands are not permitted in or around the Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus, especially in the grass or flowers.

Security cameras and motion detectors have been installed across the campus. The Danbury Police Department will be called if there are after-hour trespassers.

Grab & Go

The Grab & Go station will include water, Gatorade, tea and lemonade, as well as a selection of food and snacks.

See You Soon

Today, we celebrate you and everyone in the community who helped make this pool and wellness center a reality. We wouldn’t be opening this new facility without your love, support and generosity. Thank you deeply.