PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Friday would have been a great day to go for a swim at one of Philadelphia’s public pools, but the wait is almost over. Philadelphia Parks and Recreation said that a handful of pools will be opening on Tuesday.
The city says 80% of the available pools will open this summer. The city is working around the nationwide lifeguard shortage to ensure kids are safe while they swim.READ MORE: Viewing Underway For Fallen Firefighter Lt. Sean Williamson In South Philadelphia: 'It's A Terrible Tragedy'
Making a splash this summer season.
The city said Friday outdoor pools will open on a rolling basis beginning next Tuesday, but Philadelphia Parks and Rec says only 50 of the 63 pools will open citywide.
“We want to make sure that every Philadelphian has access to a public free-swimming pool,” Parks and Rec Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell said.
The city is opening pools in the midst of a nationwide lifeguard shortage. The seasonal hiring challenges stemming from the pandemic. They say they ramped up their recruiting process.
“It is not a money issue for us. We have the pool operating dollars in the budget,” Ott Lovell said. “It’s just about having enough lifeguards to keep pool decks safe and to keep pools safe.”
The city says right now they have 500 lifeguards and pool maintenance attendants ready to go. They tweaked operating hours to maximize community access.READ MORE: Phillies' Bryce Harper Out Indefinitely With Broken Thumb After Being Hit By Pitch In 4-2 Win Over Padres
“Some pools will be open a seven-day schedule,” Ott Lovell said. “Some pools will be open on a modified 12-5 schedule and some pools will be open on a split schedule and that’s again to maximize how many pools we will be able to open.”
Extra security will also be present at the pools.
“Always. Philadelphia police support our pools and we will actually have police stationed at every single pool,” Ott Lovell said.
As schools let out, the city wants to make sure kids have a fun place to enjoy the summer and cool off.
“I would defiantly encourage folks to A, go and find the best nearest pool,” Ott Lovell said. “If you aren’t comfortable with that, if that’s not something you want to do, then I would really encourage them to find a spray ground.”
Below is the list of anticipated opening dates for Philadelphia public pools.
- Tuesday, June 21: Fishtown Recreation Center, Mill Creek Playground, Samuel Recreation Center
- Wednesday, June 22: Barry Playground, Lawncrest Recreation Center, Penrose Playground
- Thursday, June 23: Kelly Pool , Vogt Recreation Center, Pleasant Playground
- Friday, June 24: Murphy Recreation Center, Mitchell Playground, Simpson Recreation Center
- Monday, June 27: Bridesburg Recreation Center, Athletic Recreation Center, Ford Recreation Center
- Tuesday, June 28: Awbury Playground, Jacobs Playground
- Wednesday, June 29: Jardel Recreation Center , Marian Anderson Recreation Center , Max Myers Playground
- Thursday, June 30: Hancock Playground , Kendrick Recreation Center
- Friday, July 1: Fox Chase Recreation Center
- Saturday, July 2: American Legion Playground, Cione Playground , Mander Playground
- Week of July 4: Hillside Recreation Center, Christy Recreation Center, J Finnegan Playground, Northern Liberties Recreation Center, Cherashore Playground, CB Moore Recreation Center, McVeigh Recreation Center, Cobbs Creek Recreation Center, Lackman Playground, Stinger Square, O’Connor Pool, Sacks Playground, 39th & Olive Playground, Lonnie Young Recreation Center, Houseman Playground, Feltonville Recreation Center, Shepard Recreation Center, Piccoli Playground, Francisville Recreation Center, Scanlon Recreation Center
- Week of July 11: Hunting Park Recreation Center, Waterloo Playground, Tustin Recreation Center, FJ Myers Recreation Center
The pool opening schedule will be regularly updated on the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation website.MORE NEWS: South Philadelphia Shooting Leaves 2 Men Injured: Police
CBS3’s Kerri Corrado contributed to this report.