Area pool-opening dates vary
May 25—While the Pittsburg, Kansas, public pool will open Friday, pools in some cities, including Joplin, will open later.
The cities of Joplin and Miami, Oklahoma, have delayed opening their pools for a week in order to have enough lifeguards ready.
The planned opening of Joplin pools this year is June 2 because schools don't dismiss until May 26, the day before Memorial Day weekend. Earlier this month, the city had received only 14 applications for lifeguard positions and a Memorial Day weekend opening would not have allowed enough time to train lifeguards, the Joplin parks director had said.
That number has now changed. Parks Director Paul Bloomberg said that as of Tuesday 28 had passed lifeguard training. The department also has six pool managers who passed the training and two aquatic managers.
Those numbers will allow Schifferdecker Pool to open, although the lazy river feature cannot be opened yet because there aren't lifeguards for that, Bloomberg said.
"We will have enough to open the 50-meter pool with the diving boards, the slides and the rock wall climbing" features, he said.
There are more training date sets for applicants on June 2-3 and June 9-10. There are 10 signed up for those sessions, and there is room for up to 30 trainees.
A raise in lifeguard pay has been put in place to encourage applicants. Starting pay has gone up to $13.65 per hour.
"We're optimistic we can get the lazy river open later," Bloomberg said.
Cunningham Pool will not open for general admission swimming. Swim lessons will be held there and a schedule for the lessons will be announced later. Ewert Pool has been closed for several years because of the declining number of lifeguards. Planning will start soon for the Ewert Splash Park.
Schifferdecker Pool will be open 1 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday and Sunday, and 1 to 8 p.m. Friday. Admission is $5.50 for children over age 3 and $6.50 for adults.
The Parr Hill splash pad is operating at Parr Hill Park in Joplin, as is Webb City's splash pad at King Jack Park.
Anyone interested in applying as a lifeguard or getting more information about the job may contact the city's human resources department on the first floor of Joplin City Hall, 602 S. Main St., or online at www.joplinmo.org/jobs. Applicants need to be 16 years of age by the first day on the job.
Carthage's Municipal Park Pool has undergone some renovations in the last few weeks before summer break to try to fix some leaks and reduce the amount of water that has to be added to the pool every day. The pool, managed by the Fair Acres Family Y, opens Saturday.
Jonathan Roberts, director of the Y, said hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $3 per person of all ages except for children 3 and younger admitted free. Fair Acres Y members also get in free.
The pool will have special hours for the Fourth of July. In conjunction with the Red, White and Boom celebration of Independence Day, the pool will be open from noon to 8 p.m. and everyone will get in free that day.
Roberts said last year the Independence Day event drew 850 people, which broke all daily records for pool attendance.
Abi Almandinger, parks and recreation director for the city, said a major leak was found in the baby pool at the Municipal Park Pool, so that will have to remain closed for the summer.
She said the city spent over $90,000 to have the pool tested, power-washed, caulked along some expansion joints and repainted ahead of Saturday's opening.
"We've been working on it quite hard for several weeks, and now it's kind of a waiting game to see how we've impacted those leaks," Almandinger said. "It's filling now as we speak, but we won't know for another day or two how much water it's going to hold. We'll have to see where we're at."
The wading pool at Central Park will also be open this summer, but it won't be open for Memorial Day weekend.
Almandinger said that pool will be open sometime ahead of the Food Truck Friday event scheduled for June 9.
Robertson said hours at the wading pool will be noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday with special hours on Food Truck Fridays from noon to 8 p.m. Admission for the wading pool is free.
Jason Cecil, parks and recreation superintendent, said a big crowd is expected for opening day at Pittsburg's pool at 1 p.m. Friday.
There are enough lifeguards there, Cecil said, because "we are blessed with the fact we have a manager over there and we started (recruiting) in March."
The pool is open 1 to 5 p.m. seven days a week for general admission swimming and from 5:15 to 7 p.m. for family swim. Admission is $4 for children, $5 adults and $3 for seniors.
Swim lessons will be offered, but the schedule is nearly full. Those who wish to inquire may call the parks and recreation office at 620-231-8310.
The pool opening at Miami has been postponed until Tuesday, June 6. In a social media post, the city said the reason for the delay is because there are not enough lifeguards available yet. Those interested may go to the city's website at www.miamiokla.net.