City delays opening of outdoor pools due to weather

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – With highs in the 60’s, Sioux Falls pools remained closed Friday.

The Midco Aquatics Center wasn’t supposed to be the only spot to swim on Friday, but the temperature outside put opening day on hold.

“I wish the weather was a little better so people could enjoy our pools, but because of the unseasonably cool weather, we’re not going to be open until the weather warms up a little bit,” Don Kearney, director of Parks and Recreation said.

“I’m looking forward to being able to swim outside without roasting,” Tessa Letham said.

Ten-year-old swimmer Tessa is one of many people ready to get back in the water.

“Tuesday is supposed to be her first outdoor pool day, so, I don’t know. We’re coming from Arizona so it seems a little chilly to be swimming outdoors,” Tessa’s mom Tanya Letham said.

The city hopes to open the outdoor pools on Monday, but three pools, including one at McKennan Park, will remain closed because of a labor shortage.

“Right now, we’ve really made a hard push to hire lifeguards to be able to staff our facilities,” Kearney said. “We’re getting really close to be able to have all of them open, but we need probably another week before we’re able to get enough of our lifeguards hired.”

The parks department needs another 15 lifeguards before the McKennan Park wading pool and the Frank Olson and Kuehn Park pools can open to swimmers.

“We’re really excited about the season actually,” Kearney said. “You know, last year with COVID and not being able to be open, I think there’s kind of a pent up demand from people that want to be able to really enjoy our outdoor aquatic facilities, and I know our staff are excited about it as well.”

Currently, there is no timeline for the final three pools to open.

The seasonal pay for lifeguards is now $13.50 per hour. Rapid City also increased lifeguard wages to get more people to apply.

You can apply for seasonal jobs with Parks & Recreation here.

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