The Athens City Pool is reopening this summer with regularly scheduled programming and routine pandemic precautions.
The pool, which closed for the entirety of last season amid the pandemic, is expected to open on Memorial Day weekend, Athens Facilities Operations Manager George Nowicki said.
It will operate with a smaller capacity, a limited number of chairs along the deck, markers in the grass for distancing and enhanced sanitation all in an effort to ensure the safety of patrons, according to Athens Arts, Parks and Recreation Director Terri Moore.
Neither Nowicki nor Moore were able to answer questions about pricing.
Moore is confident the facility can reopen safely since patrons are required by law to wear a mask, a measure not implemented this time last year, and aquatics professionals across the state say they’ve been able to prevent spread at pools.
“Really following the state guidelines and the best practices that other agencies put in place last year, I feel like we can do it safely,” Moore said.
Public pools are notorious money guzzlers that nearly always operate at a loss. A break-even scenario, she said, is an enormous success story. The department closed the facility last year in part because operating it would have posed a projected loss of $100,000, Moore said.
She expects the financial loss this year to not be excessive if the department is able to balance successful programming, such as swimming lessons and a youth swim team, with all other operations.
“We’re gonna get creative. We’re gonna do the best we can. It’s gonna be successful because we’re opening, I think, that’s what the community wants, that’s what it’s all about. Summer in Ohio is not fun without the swimming pool,” Moore said.