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 Users enjoy the newly reopened St. Clair Shores pool July 5.

Users enjoy the newly reopened St. Clair Shores pool July 5.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


St. Clair Shores pool reopens for 100 people at a time

Lifeguards needed, sessions for seniors offered

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published July 17, 2020

 Only 100 people at a time are let into the St. Clair Shores pool to allow for social distancing due to COVID-19.

Only 100 people at a time are let into the St. Clair Shores pool to allow for social distancing due to COVID-19.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — The Fourth of July celebrated the birth of the United States and, in St. Clair Shores, the opening of the municipal pool.

The Parks and Recreation Department opened the pool July 3, 4 and 5 from noon to 8 p.m. each day. The pool is not open continuously each day, however, explained Parks and Recreation Director Henry Bowman.

“We’re bringing 100 people into the pool per session,” he said. “Starting at 12 to 2:30 (p.m.). Then we sanitized, then we opened up another session 3 to 5:30 (p.m.), then we sanitized and we opened up another session 6 to 8 (p.m.).

“We could do, by the Governor’s orders, 250 people in the pool at a time, (but) I was like, let’s start slower.”

The St. Clair Shores Pool has a capacity of up to 1,000 people.

The first weekend went very well, Bowman said.

“If they wanted to come back, they could get in line to come back and they wouldn’t have to pay again. It’s just more to give everybody turns,” he said. “Our best day was on Sunday, and all three sessions were full on Sunday.”

Limiting the capacity to just 10% of its normal limit means plenty of room for swimmers to space out. Chairs on the pool deck were spaced out in singles, pairs and triples, and patrons were asked to find a grouping that fit their party and not to move the chairs.

In addition, those coming to the pool could not use lockers or the showers.

Bowman said the city is having some difficulty in finding enough lifeguards, so it is limiting its daily operations to Thursday through Sunday for the time being.

“It’s very difficult. Some of the people that might be a little bit older ... there’s a good chance they were getting unemployment. Why would they want to come back to work? They would actually be taking a pay cut,” he said.

He encouraged teens who want to be a lifeguard to apply.

“The best job for a kid to have is to be a lifeguard, cause they are taught to pay attention to what’s going on at all times in the pool. They’re not on their phones,” he said.

An application to be a lifeguard is available at scsmi.net. Applicants must be at least 16 years old and are required to hold an active certification in lifeguarding from the American Red Cross, YMCA or other approved training course, along with an active certification in first aid, CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator) use.

As the pool is able to hire more lifeguards, Bowman said he plans to be open more days of the week.

The water slide reopened July 9 after receiving some needed repairs.

The pool is also offering special times for senior citizens on Mondays from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Activities offered during those times include water aerobics, lap swimming and relaxing in the water.

There will not be swim lessons offered in 2020, Bowman said, and the Sea Serpents Swim Team will not be forming, although several other swim teams are renting the pool for practice.

Even though there has been extra work to be done, Bowman said it’s worth it to open the facility.

“People seemed to be happy,” Bowman said. “They were happy the pools were open and they were enjoying themselves.

“Yes, it’s a little bit extra work but, at the same time, with us cutting down on the crowds that we have, everything is manageable.”

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