Kearney public pools are now open
KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Public pools at Harmon and Centennial Park are open. For opening week the pool will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. until May 27, and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Memorial Day weekend.
Then the pool will shift to their regular hours which is 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. then reopening from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekdays. Then from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekends. Officials said there’s a reason for their opening week strategy.
“Our logic behind just being open in the afternoons is it gets our staff an opportunity to get exposure, especially all of our new lifeguards to get back into the swing of things,” said JoHanna Burkey, Aquatics Recreation Coordinator for Kearney Parks and Rec. “Also managing the pool with the water and all the bodies that get inside of it during the summer time.”
Burkey said the abbreviated hours will also allow them to balance the chemicals in the water. If you’re swimming at Harmon Park, you might notice something different.
“Here at Harmon Park Pool there’s lots of little things around if you’ve been here frequently you’ll notice. But the biggest one was we had a bath house remodel in both of our restrooms,” said Burkey. “So we went from like team showers, like an open showering area; to individual showering and changing stalls, and then upgrades to our ADA , so our handicap bathrooms as well.”
Burkey said even with all the upgrades and improvements, they are still in need of lifeguards.
“There is a lifeguard shortage again this year across Nebraska and I’m sure many more areas,” said Burkey. “But a way we combated it is to kind of have a more competitive wages so we have up’d our wages for our lifeguards, managers, cashiers this year. As well just did some extra outreach to try to get more lifeguards and staff.”
Burkey said lifeguards can now make up to $13.25 per hour. Adding, Harmon and Centennial Pools are the place to be in Kearney during the summer. One local is happy to have their pool open and all the things that come with it.
“Some weeks they’ll have different themed weeks like you can bring your own pool floaties, or you can dress up Hawaii themed,” Kayla Logan, resident, said. “That was some of the things they did last summer.”
Logan said she was excited for the pool opening because now her younger siblings get to share the same excitement she has about going to the pool.
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