City pool opens Monday, swimming lessons available

By CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,

The city pool at the Wardell Leach Recreation Complex will be open for swimmers starting on Monday, July 2, from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Sedric Hudson, director of Parks and Recreation, said that two lifeguards will present every day during regular swimming hours.

To kick off opening week, Parks and Recreation offered free swimming lessons to local children who registered, after an advertisement was posted on social media.  Hudson said that most of the children who participated became more comfortable around water while learning how to swim.

"The pool will officially be open to the public starting on Monday, July 2," Hudson said. "Admission for kids is $2.00 per child.

Swimmers are asked to wear appropriate pool attire such as swim trunks and bathing suits, and they are also asked to bring their own towels. Park patrons are encouraged to bring their own snacks and refreshments to enjoy, but are reminded that food and drinks will not be allowed inside the pool area. 

Hudson said that other pool rules will be posted inside the swimming area, and that the lifeguards will be enforcing those rules.

Richard Griffin and Melodie Patterson will be the lifeguards on duty for most of July, and both have around 20 years of experience under their belts as private swimming instructors.

Griffin and Patterson will be teaching private swimming lessons in the morning from 8 - 11 a.m. and in the evenings from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.  Private lessons will be $35 per each session.

"First we are teaching them water safety," said Griffin. "We are also teaching them how to tread water, how to float, and we are teaching them the different kinds of strokes they need to survive in the water."

"We are also teaching them water familiarization," said Patterson. "The Front stroke, back stroke, front crawl, side stroke, and all of those different things will come as they learn them."

Both of the instructors said that they are happy that the pool is open for the summer, and thanked all the people who have supported the city pool over the years.

"I would also like to say thank you to former Mayor Wardell Leach for his part in helping us get the pool open for the summer months," Hudson said.