Weather drives pool attendance

Pool attendance sees ups and downs in Greene County

  • By Tara Kinsell July 19, 2013
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Tara Kinsell / Observer-Reporter
Lifeguard Brennan McMinn instucts Gavin Husenits, 7, of Carmichaels on how to do a standing jump during swim lessons at Wana B Park Friday. Order a Print
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Tara Kinsell / Observer-Reporter
Front to back, Aidan Titus, 7, Beau Chapman, 9, and Eli Schoedel, 5, all of Waynesburg, float down the lazy river Friday at the Alpha Aquatics Center. Order a Print
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Tara Kinsell / Observer-Reporter
Lifeguard Courtney Patterson looks on as Emily Mahle, 7, makes a splash out of a waterslide at the Alpha Aquatic Center in Waynesburg. Order a Print

CARMICHAELS – The oppressive heat of the past several days filled up county swimming pools after a strange month of heavy rains in June.

“It is just now starting to pick up again,” said Pam Blaker, Greene County Parks and Recreation manager Friday morning at Wana B Park in Carmichaels. “A lot of people from out of the county are coming here to swim.”

Blaker said guests from multiple neighboring counties are driving to Greene County pools.

“They have said they were surprised because they didn’t even know the pool was here (Wana B),” Blaker said. “It is funny because the pool has been here for so many years.”

A new demographic that Blaker said is frequenting the Carmichaels location this week is elderly residents. She said there have always been older people coming out but not in the numbers they are currently to cool off.

Blaker’s husband, Jake, who is the director of recreation, said the summer started out strong for the pools before the rain, and rain is always a detriment to swimming pools.

“What do you do first thing when you get up in the morning? Mom and Dad turn on the TV to see what it is going to be like for the day,” Blaker said, while overseeing a bank of monitors at the Alpha Aquatics waterpark in Waynesburg Friday afternoon. “If there is lightning in the weather forecast for the day, Mom and Dad will say, ‘Let’s go and do something else.’ They don’t want to take the chance.”

He paused to field a call from a group from Ohio who were planning a trip to the six-year-old, $3.3 million water park in Franklin Township. Blaker gave them the rundown of how weather situations are handled and wished them safe travels.

The Wana B Park pool, also known as the Eastern Pool, recently underwent a renovation that Blaker said “saved the pool from closure.”

“It went well and came in under what we had budgeted for it,” he said. Greene County commissioners approved the project in October. It was determined the pool’s future was endangered by leakage from cracks in gutter welds because of the settling of the pool over time. The estimated cost was between $100,000 and $125,000 at that time.

A third pool at the county-owned Monview Park in Monongahela Township, is expected to receive some improvements through impact fees, according to the commissioners.

This pool at 377 Stoney Hill Road, Greensboro, was taken over by the county in 2005. It features a 200,000-gallon T-shaped pool, a diving board, an 11-foot diving pool, a 20x20-foot children’s play area, lockers, restrooms, showers, changing facilities and snack machines.

Hours of operation for the Monview Pool are 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday. The cost of admission is $2 for children ages 17 and younger and adults 62 and over. Admission is $4 for adults 18 to 61.

The county-operated Eastern Pool is located at the Cumberland Township owned Wana B Park on Ceylon Road in Carmichaels. Hours of operation are 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Admission is $3 for children age 17 and younger and adults ages 62 and over. The price is $5 for adults ages 18 to 61.

Eastern Pool features a 300,000-gallon Z-shaped pool, a diving board, an 11-foot diving pool, an 8-foot water slide, a 70-foot spiral water slide, a 15x15-foot children’s play area, lockers, restrooms, showers, changing facilities and snack machines.

The Alpha Aquatics waterpark at 200 East Roy Furman Highway, Waynesburg, is open noon to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The cost of admission is $5 for children ages 17 and younger and older adults 62 and over. Admission is $7 for adults 18 to 61-years of age.

Located adjacent to Lions Club Park in Franklin Township, the waterpark features a 330,000-gallon competition-sized pool with eight lap lanes, two diving boards and a 12-foot diving pool; a 40-by-40-foot children’s play area, including a 148-foot spiral water slide, a 25-foot straight water slide, a 180-foot “lazy river” with tubes for floating, and water jets and other play equipment; a bath house with lockers, restrooms, showers and changing facilities; and a concession stand and seating area.

Greene County pools are open through Labor Day weekend. Swimming lessons are available for $25 per person. For more information, contact the department of recreation at 724-852-5323.

A fourth pool in Greene County, the state-owned pool at Ryerson Station State Park, is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Aug. 26, weather permitting. The park 361 Bristoria Road in Wind Ridge, is handicapped accessible, including a lift for the pool. There is no charge to swim. For more information, contact the park office at 724-428-4254.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.


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