Pools prep for opening days

PARKERSBURG – Public pools from south Parkersburg to Beverly are being drained, cleaned, repaired and refilled in anticipation of residents looking to beat the heat in just a few weeks.

Several pools in the region will open for Memorial Day weekend, while others will hold off until school’s out.

“All the lifeguards are in school,” said Mike Bishman, owner of Professional Pool Management, which is operating the swimming pools in Parkersburg, Vienna, Williamstown, Marietta and Beverly. “You can’t man it without lifeguards, and plus there wouldn’t be really very many people going, so it’s a waste of money.”

The first pool to open will be the Belpre City Pool on Friday, May 23, and that day will be a Community Day with free admission, said Suzy Zumwalde, executive director of the Marietta Family YMCA, which manages Belpre’s pool.

“We pride ourselves on always being the first pool open,” she said, noting Belpre City Schools will be done for the year on that day.

Before that happens though, some repairs are needed to the bottom of the pool, though nothing outside the scope of normal maintenance, said Dave Ferguson, Belpre’s safety-service director.

“There’s always a little bit of repairs that go along with a pool,” he said.

Ferguson expects to have the pool filled next week.

The Pleasants County and Beverly pools are expected to open a day later, on May 24, along with the Marietta Aquatic Center, which will shut down after Memorial Day and reopen on Thursday, May 29.

The first day for the Lowell pool will be Memorial Day itself, on May 26. Painting of the bottom of the pool and replacement of the roof on the pool building will start next week, said village Mayor David Pitzer.

“The roof will be a volunteer community effort,” he said. “We also received a donation from PDC Energy late summer last year for a new diving board and ladders,” which have already been installed.

The Devola Pool is slated to open on Saturday, May 31, while New Matamoras’ pool season starts Wednesday, June 4, the last day of school for most Frontier Local students. Pools at Parkersburg’s City and Southwood parks and Vienna’s Jackson Park and the Williamstown Healthy Lifestyle Swimming Pool will follow on June 11, the day after Wood County Schools close for the summer.

Even more than a month out, maintenance at those pools is under way.

“We had a bad winter, so we’re getting a few separated lines,” said Steve Cox, Parkersburg assistant public works director.

However, there have been no serious issues found, Cox said. His goal is to try to get the pools up and running two to three weeks before they open so the water can warm and any potential problems can be discovered.