By Justin Seward
It looks like Redcliff residents will be able to jump into the local pool after all this summer.
The town confirmed the pool and the new-look splash park at Lions Park will open June 29.
Public swimming will be opened on Monday and lessons will begin July 6.
The decision came after pools and splash parks were a part of Alberta’s Stage 2 relaunch on June 12.
“It looks like we’re on schedule to do that,” said Derrin Thibault, the town’s director of community and protective services.
The date was set because it allowed the town to coordinate everything including the heating of the pool, chemicals poured in the water and training for the staff.
“We have some specific COVID training that we have to get implemented before opening,” he said.
“These are students we hire and we have to get them up to speed on what the public health regulations are around COVID-19. So that’s going to be the sanitation, the spacing and it is how we’re going to achieve that at the pool.”
The town had to take into consideration on how they can stager swimming lesson schedules to accommodate the 100 people limit in an outdoor setting.
“We typically have a family swim and a public swim,” he said.
“And because we have to reduce the amount of people, we just turn them both into public swims and our asking the same folks not to attend both swims. Typically our capacity there is around 400 and with outside gatherings, the way they are now, we’re only allowed to accommodate 100. I’m not going to say we were at capacity all time. We could certainly be around the 200 mark and we are going to have to be turning people away.”
Parents will have to be present for lessons because the town does not want the lifeguard and non-family member interaction.
“We’ve asked parents to come and participate with their children instead of ourselves. It’s just some program changes that need to take place to accommodate public health measures,” he said.
The pool staff were sent a memo to come back and 90 per cent of them responded.
“We’re a little bit smaller and a little bit more nimble because we only have a few facilities to look after,” said Thibault.
“I’d say the students were pretty excited to have something to come back to. They were really missing that.”
The town is encouraging the public to come dressed to swim instead of having to go through the change room as staff is trying to minimize the amount of touch points.
“We are actually opening up one of our external medal gates on the fence so people can leave after the swim event through that way instead of going through the change room if they don’t have to,” he said.
Change rooms and showers will still be available if people need to before they enter the pool.
Lockers will be off limits to swimmers and there will be a half hour in between swim times where staff will do sanitizing on high-frequent touch points.
The schedule is the same as previous years.
The new-look Lions Park splash park was receiving some final landscape touches on Friday.
“We need to give (the sod) a really good week of watering so it can actually take root,” he said.
“I see us opening that on the June 29.”
There will be no restrictions but the public will have to use the splash park at their own risk.