After weeks of uncertainty, the outdoor pool at the Denison Aquatic Center will open tomorrow (Thursday, June 18), with some differences from normal operation to help ensure social distancing.
A maximum of 75 individuals can be at the outdoor pool at one time during the one and one-half hour time slots.
The outdoor pool will be open Thursday through Monday and closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Approximate time slots are the following.
The aquatic center staff is asking that people use the outdoor pool for one time slot a day. This is to make sure that everyone who wants to has an opportunity to use the outdoor pool.
No appointments are needed to use the outdoor pool; however, it will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
People can call the aquatic center ahead of time if they want to see if the capacity for a time slot has been reached.
The entrance and the exit to the outdoor pool will be the concession stand gate in order to limit the number of people going in and out of the locker rooms and the lobby.
The water slides will be open.
At Tuesday’s city council meeting, Parks & Rec Director Brian Kempfert said the capacity would start out at 75 and once the staff is comfortable with that number, the capacity may be increased to 100, but it would be capped at that number.
He compared this capacity to the 200-300 patrons that use the outdoor pool on a “super” hot day.
The indoor pool will continue to be open only for lap swimming and water walking, as it has been since June 4. However, people no longer have to make appointments for time slots and the one-hour time limits will no longer apply.
Hours for the indoor pool will remain from 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Kempfert informed the council members and mayor the reason leaving the use of the indoor pool for lap swimming and water exercise.
“We do have quite a few older clientele that comes during that time, just using the indoor pool only, and a few of them have raised concerns that if we would start letting kids come in (to the indoor pool) they would just stop coming until school goes back into session,” he said. “I don’t want to take that away from them.”
Indoor pool users can still enter through the main doors.
As with the outdoor pool, indoor pool users are encouraged to maintain social distancing.
Another point about the indoor pool: if it rains, the option of letting people use the indoor pool will not be available this summer.
Kempfert mentioned staffing as one of the reasons for limiting the days the outdoor pool will be open.
“About half our staff is brand new. To start off with, we’re going to have limited staff, and the whole last week of June isn’t looking good as far as staffing schedules,” he explained.
He said the Thursday through Monday schedule would be reassessed as time progresses.
Pool staff will continue to disinfect surfaces on a regular basis; patrons are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer.
Following are other recommendations and requirements that have been posted on the Parks & Rec Facebook page.
No 3-month passes; pay by the day.
Admission – free to those age 5 and under; $2 for everyone else
Bring exact change to limit the amount of money being exchanged
The aquatic center will not offer deck chairs to begin with but will reassess this situation as the summer progresses; people are encouraged to bring their own deck chairs
The concession stand will be open but only prepackaged food will be sold
Showers will remain closed; patrons should come and leave in swimsuits
Restrooms will be available
For a full list, see the Denison Parks & Rec Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DenisonRec