LIMA — It seems as if school just let out and the dog days of summer were upon us. In reality, the dog days of summer are almost over, schools are opening and the end of swimming season is here with local pools and cool spots closing shortly.
Summer employment is another factor that drives pools to close earlier. With the start of school, lifeguards, concession stand workers and cleaners are no longer available.
The first pool to close for the season is Schoonover Pool, located at 727 Findlay Road, Lima. The pool closes for the season Sunday.
“We close Sunday, August 6th,” said assistant pool manager Jacquenetta Kirkendall. “It’s been that way for the last three years or better.”
Schoonover Pool opened for the season on June 10 and will close Sunday for the season.
“If you look, that’s eight weeks, and traditionally that’s what we open for. Traditionally, that’s what we’re there for, we open for eight weeks, usually depending on the way the calendar falls, the first or second Saturday in June and then usually we close the first or second Sunday in August. Wherever that eight weeks falls,” said Brett Roehm, recreation supervision for the city of Lima.
Schoonover Pool is one of the largest pools, and operating the pool is not inexpensive.
“It takes a substantial amount to operate the pool. Not a cheap endeavor. We’ve probably used at our pool alone with just the main pool, over 5,000 gallons of chlorine, I would guess. That pool holds 1.3 million gallons of water. It used to be the largest pool in the state of Ohio, but it’s not any longer. It’s just a big pool. It takes a lot to keep it open and running year after year. But traditionally that’s what we’ve been opened for is eight weeks,” said Roehm.
The city of Lima strives to keep the entry fee affordable for the public.
“We try to keep it as affordable as what we can for the public so that they have a place that they can go and cool off and enjoy the summer,” said Roehm.
Summer employment is another factor that drives the pools to close earlier than in the past.
“All the lifeguards have sports. Soccer has started, midget football has started, high school practice has started, so we wouldn’t have enough employees,” said Kirkendall.
The Ottawa Memorial Pool in Ottawa, located at 730 N. Locust St., Ottawa is owned by the Village of Ottawa but operated by the Putnam County YMCA. The last day for swimming at the Ottawa Memorial Pool is Aug. 13. The pool opened July 3 for the season.
“Our pool is owned by the Village of Ottawa and our contract is a certain number of weeks, and based on when we open, that’s when our contract ends,” said Kaitlin Brown, manager at Ottawa Memorial Pool. We are actually open a week longer this year, so we have gotten another week added to our contract.”
Another local cool spot closing on Aug. 13 is Ottawa Metro Beach, 2632 Ada Road, Lima.
“We always close before the fair. We always open on Memorial Day and close before the fair. We used to have limited hours like weekends only through Labor Day, and then through the years we kept track of attendance and so forth and it dropped off so drastically. We are open now from Memorial Day and run through right before fair, and this year that is August 13,” said Karri Barr, manager.
The majority of the local pools are closing Aug. 20.
Delphos Pool is closing Aug. 20 but the new Delphos Splash Pad will be open until Sept. 30.
Sandy Point Lake located at 6620 Sandy Point Road, Lima, closes Aug. 20 as well for daily swimming, but remains open noon to 7 p.m. during the weekends up to Labor Day.
Lake Winona, located at 5675 W. Breese Road, Lima, will be running on different hours. As of Aug. 21, the hours for swimming through the week are 3:30-7 p.m. They will remain open until Labor Day with those hours.
Other pools closing on Aug. 20 include the Columbus Grove Municipal Pool, Spencerville Municipal Pool and Wapakoneta Water Park.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511