It may not feel like swimming weather with highs only reaching into the middle 60’s, but Saturday marks the opening of two pools in Springfield.
The Springfield-Greene County Park Board will open Fassnight and McGee-McGregor outdoor pools Saturday, with additional locations scheduled to open in June.
Fassnight Pool (1300 south Campbell) is open 1-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday during the holiday weekend, with discount Splash & Sizzle admission all day on Memorial Day. $1/swimmer or free with a canned food donation, benefiting Ozarks Food Harvest.
Regular admission is $4 for adults and $3 for youth and seniors.
McGee-McGregor wading pool (1200 E. Bennett) is open Saturday and Memorial Day 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. This pool is for kids ages six and under with an adult only. Admission is free.
After the holiday weekend, these two pools follow a regular weekly schedule through August 15th.
The park board has more on pool schedules as part of a news release below:
- Fassnight open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 1-6:30 p.m. Closed Monday and Thursday. Enjoy discount Splash & Sizzle admission daily 5:30-6:30 p.m., for $1/swimmer or free with a canned food donation.
- McGee-McGregor open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3-6 p.m. Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
Indoor pools at Chesterfield and Doling Family Centers are also open seven days a week, with outdoor admission rates offered Monday-Friday, 1-8 p.m. Regular indoor pool admission is in place Saturday and Sunday, $6/kids and seniors, $8/adults. View the full schedule at ParkBoard.org/Aquatics
Starting the week of June 13, the Park Board plans to open Grant Beach Pool, 1401 N. Grant Ave.; and Silver Springs Pool, 1100 N. Hampton Ave. Schedules will be announced. Private outdoor pool rentals also begin the week of June 13.
Meador and Westport outdoor pools will not open for the 2021 season.
Director of Parks Bob Belote said the biggest challenge facing public swimming pools this summer is a lifeguard shortage, affecting pools nationwide as well as locally.
“We’re still recovering from lost Parks revenue related to the pandemic, which contributed to our staff and board making the difficult decision to not open Meador and Westport this summer,” said Belote. “But even if new funding became available today, we still wouldn’t be able to open all our pools because, despite heavy recruiting efforts, we have not been able to hire enough trained lifeguards to open and operate every location safely.
Locally, the shortage of lifeguards has several contributing factors, including:
- Fewer lifeguards trained or worked Summer 2020, when many outdoor pools were closed, so there are fewer experienced applicants returning to the job this summer.
- Fewer than normal potential applicants took part in training sessions this winter and spring.
- An overall labor shortage gives wider employment options to younger workers.
The Park Board needs to add approximately 25 new hires to the current staff of 55 lifeguards to open Grant Beach and Silver Springs pools. A normal summer, with all outdoor pools opened six days a week requires at least 125 lifeguards.
To bolster lifeguard numbers, the Park Board is offering new incentives, including:
- Increasing lifeguard starting pay to $12/hour, with leadership positions earning up to $16/hour, beginning June 6.
- Offering a one-time discount American Red Cross Lifeguard training and certification session June 8-10 for $100 (normal fee is $160), for qualified applicants who commit to work for the Park Board this summer.
- Adding a daily meal voucher at pool concessions for lifeguards to use during breaks.
“We’re trying things we’ve never done before,” said Belote. “Now that school is out, we’re hoping to see more applications. We need capable lifeguards to keep our pools safe, and we’re asking for the community’s help in sending qualified applicants to us.”
Interested in becoming a lifeguard for the Park Board? Apply at ParkBoard.org/Jobs. Applicants must be 15 or older, pass a swimming test and complete lifeguard training and certification. Applicants will be contacted with details.
For schedules, pool descriptions, pool rules and more, visit ParkBoard.org/Aquatics.