Noll takes reins of aquatic center

Gretchen Noll took over as the manager of the Dallas Aquatic Center on Jan. 24. She is the former head guard.

Photo by Jolene Guzman
Gretchen Noll took over as the manager of the Dallas Aquatic Center on Jan. 24. She is the former head guard.



DALLAS — The new manager at Dallas Aquatic Center once decided that her dream career would combine swimming and teaching.

Go for a swim

What: Dallas Aquatic Center.

Where: 1005 SE LaCreole Drive, Dallas.

When: The aquatic center is open daily but hours and swim times vary throughout the year. During the school year, the pool is closed from 1 to 4:30 p.m., except on Friday when the doors open at 3 p.m. for recreational swimming. Check the schedule for daily hours at: www.ci.dallas.or.....

Admission: Adults $6; seniors (60 and older) $5; youth (17 and younger) $5; families (up to four people) $18.

Features: Five pools, a lazy river, water slide, splash fountain and rope swing. Classes include: swim lessons, water aerobics, and aqua therapy. Recreational swim times vary.

For more information: 503-623-9715 or visit http://www.ci.dal...">www.ci.dallas.or.....

Gretchen Noll, 26, dismissed the idea of being a full-time swim instructor as unrealistic.

“Ironically it has become my career, in a way,” said Noll, who took over the center’s manager position on Jan. 24.

Noll stepped in as interim manager in December after former manager Tina Paul retired. She’s worked at the center for five years, three as head guard and assistant to Paul.

She applied to work at the aquatic center while attending Western Oregon University. Noll had been a lifeguard in high school.

“It was about a year later that Tina called me,” she said. “I right away started guarding and subbing for lessons, and teaching water aerobics.”

She said she learned to run the front desk, too, and became a lead guard. Moving to head guard three years ago, Noll took on the responsibility of overseeing swim lessons, the junior guards, and the safety committee.

She found her childhood idea of a dream job is what she likes best about working at the aquatic center.

“I do like teaching swim lessons, especially when it finally clicks, and they can do it on their own,” Noll said. “When they realize they can do it by themselves is the most exciting because they are stoked about it.”

Noll said she knew Paul, who had been manager for nearly 15 years, was close to retirement.

“Tina was great to work with and made me more confident in the transition,” she said. “I was really sad for her to be leaving. We had talked about it off and on, and when she made the decision it was difficult for me because she was very much a mentor without even meaning to. That’s the type of person she is.”

Noll is recruiting a new head guard and will take some time to settle in before deciding on any changes at the aquatic center.

“I would like to keep it the same right now and, in a year, evaluate and see where we could expand or improve,” she said.

Noll said she was nervous to take over as interim manager, but with the test drive over, she’s happy to officially have the job.

“I do love it, so it’s something that I’m excited to do,” she said. “I think aquatics is a very important industry because learning to swim is a survival skill, and it’s good for exercise and easier on your body than some other types of exercise.”

Go for a swim

What: Dallas Aquatic Center.

Where: 1005 SE LaCreole Drive, Dallas.

When: The aquatic center is open daily but hours and swim times vary throughout the year. During the school year, the pool is closed from 1 to 4:30 p.m., except on Friday when the doors open at 3 p.m. for recreational swimming. Check the schedule for daily hours at: www.ci.dallas.or.us/803/Pool-Hours.

Admission: Adults $6; seniors (60 and older) $5; youth (17 and younger) $5; families (up to four people) $18.

Features: Five pools, a lazy river, water slide, splash fountain and rope swing. Classes include: swim lessons, water aerobics, and aqua therapy. Recreational swim times vary.

For more information: 503-623-9715 or visit www.ci.dallas.or.us/83/Dallas-Aquatic-Center.



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