Public swimming pools in North Hills taking 'wait-and-see' approach to opening - North Journal

Public swimming pools in North Hills taking ‘wait-and-see’ approach to opening

Thursday, May 14, 2020 | 11:01 PM

Operators of several public swimming pools in the North Hills are waiting to make a decision about when, or if, they will open for the season.

“Due to covid-19, it has not yet been determined when county pools will be able to open this year,” Allegheny County officials wrote in a message posted to the department’s page for North Park Pool. “However, the parks department is moving forward with lifeguard recruitment efforts so guards can be hired, trained and prepared when county pools can open safely.”

The notice also was posted on the websites for the county wave pools in Boyce, South and Settlers Cabin parks.

Bellevue officials also are grappling with how social-distancing guidelines will affect the opening of the Memorial Park Pool, which serves borough residents as well as people from Ross Township and other surrounding communities.

“Our understanding of information from the Pennsylvania Parks and Recreation Society is that even when we move into the yellow phase, pools will have to remain closed,” said Bellevue Manager Cindy Bahn.

Bahn said keeping the pool closed also would allow time to perform deferred maintenance and repairs that can’t be done if the pool is operating.

“The financial savings realized by not opening also could be applied to the costs of those repairs,” she said.

One of the repairs is the pipe that provides water to fill the pool, which sprung several leaks when it was turned on recently, so the facility’s showers could be used if decontamination is needed during the pandemic.

“The leak resulted in a $3,000 water bill, so we really can’t put off those repairs,” Bahn said. “But we still have to decide if we‘re going to try to locate each leak and fix it or excavate and replace the entire line, which would take considerably longer because the work has to be put out for bid.”

It typically takes the borough’s public works crews about four weeks to prepare the pool for swimmers, Bahn said.

Operators of the Avonworth Swimming Pool posted a notice on social media saying that are unable to make a final decision on when to open for the season.

“We are waiting for guidance from the state on when and how we can safely open and be compliant with any and all guidelines set forth,” borough officials wrote.

The sale of pool passes also have been suspended until an opening date has been set.

“We all need a little fun in the sun and cannot wait for you to come swim with us,” officials wrote.

Cranberry Township officials said they, too, are still trying to decide when the pool and water park.

“A decision has not been made yet,” said spokeswoman Tina Fedko. “We are anticipating a decision by June 1, so certainly we wont be opening for Memorial Day.”

The township also has temporarily suspended ticket sales for the recreational facility on North Boundary Park Drive.

Hampton officials last week said they also were aiming for a June 1 reopening of the pool.