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The Gerald Hamra Memorial Pool was built in 1986 to allow children with special needs a unique and fun way to enjoy the water. The Gerald Hamra Memorial Pool was modeled after the swimming pool used in the 1972 Summer Olympic Games held in Munich, Germany, where officials noticed that their complex did not have enough space for both a pool and a gymnastics area. Their solution was to create a gymnastics area with a movable floor so that it could be lowered and transformed into a swimming pool.
Controlled by a hydraulic lift moving at a speed of one foot per minute, the pool's floor can be raised and lowered allowing it to be stopped at a selected depth. This allows an easy entrance and exit for clients with special needs (for example, those using a wheelchair) as they can enter the pool at a dry ground level and then be lowered into the water. The water is kept at a comfortable 93°F to allow for relaxation of the muscles when therapy is underway. The therapy pool was the first of its kind in the world to be used in a children's hospital and remains the only one of its kind in Arkansas.
The Rehab Department offers pool therapy through our outpatient therapy services on a case-by-case basis. Group swim classes are also held throughout the year on a semester basis.