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Municipal pool popular on opening day (video)

By Elena Watts
June 12, 2013 at 1:12 a.m.
Updated June 13, 2013 at 1:13 a.m.

A group of kids from the YMCA Summer Adventure Camp descend on the Gary T. Moses Municipal Pool for the start of the season Wednesday afternoon. The pool will be open this summer from 2-6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Veronica Navarro and Jenny Partida, both of Victoria, sat poolside at the Gary T. Moses Municipal Pool while their children romped around in the water or enjoyed snacks in the shade.

The pool at 211 N. Ben Wilson Street officially opened Wednesday at 2 p.m.

"We come every year, two to three times a week, so we've been waiting," Navarro said.

Victoria Partida, 11, has been anxious for the pool to open, her mother said. She does not live far from the pool with her family.

Both Navarro and Partida took their children to the Lone Tree Creek Park splash pad on Airline Road while the pool was closed.

"The splash pad is good, but she wants to swim," Partida said. "She always looked to see if it was open when we passed by."

The municipal pool has served an average of 300 to 350 residents daily between Memorial Day and July 4 since its opening in 1980, according to an aquatics operations analysis posted on the city's website. An average of 80 to 100 visited the pool daily during the remainder of the summer through Labor Day.

The municipal pool's swimming season is not as long as it once was, though. Most other swimming pools in town, which are private, are open more than a month longer.

The municipal swimming pool opened a week later than when city parks and recreation department officials anticipated because of a shortage of lifeguards. It is scheduled to close Aug. 11.

"We needed more time to get the staff trained to safely operate the pool," said Andrea Blomberg, assistant director with Victoria Parks and Recreation.

Hiring lifeguards is an ongoing challenge for the city. Lifeguard certification courses are not feasible before summer because the workforce is in school, Blomberg said.

"We're proactive," she said. "We tried over spring break, but lifeguards are not plentiful."

The department is still hiring lifeguards, and those interested can apply with the city of Victoria.



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