Memorial Day kicks off summer with a splash
The lifeguards are trained and the water is flowing. Opening day for Tampa’s public pools is right around the corner.
Memorial Day will be the official first day of the city’s summer swimming season, the day when 12 city pools open for business. That list includes three YMCA-owned pools the city contracts with and three unheated city-owned pools that are closed during the winter.
“We look like we’re ready to go,” city parks director Greg Bayor told Tampa City Council recently.
East Tampa’s Williams Park pool will open in July after repairs are finished, Bayor said.
This summer’s pool season won’t include Cuscaden Park’s pool in the V.M. Ybor neighborhood or Davis Islands’ Roy Jenkins. Both are closed for repairs. Seminole Heights’ Goss Memorial pool is also closed.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn set aside $3.5 million in this year’s budget for renovations to the city’s pools. That money has gone into Williams and Jenkins.
Cuscaden, a 78-year-old above-ground pool, has structural problems. Buckhorn has tentatively budgeted $2.4 million to repair Cuscaden and Hicks pools.
On Friday, crews were putting the finishing touches on the yet-to-open summer pools. They were filling the dive zone at Copeland Pool in North Tampa and painting Interbay Pools in South Tampa.
Bayor said the city’s aquatics managers are looking at the ages and gender of potential customers living within a mile of each of the city’s pools to ensure the programs at each one meet the needs of the people using it.
City Council members have said the parks department deserves more funding than it has gotten in the past.
“Every time we go to these meetings, people are questioning about their parks and the pools,” Councilman Frank Reddick told Bayor at a recent council meeting.