The Kingwood Pool will open for the summer on Tuesday with restrictions imposed because of COVID-19.
It is the only municipal pool in Preston County. The only other public pool is at the Preston County 4-H Camp, which will not open this year.
Kingwood Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Stiles asked city council before proceeding with opening the pool, noting additional staff are required and limitations will be placed on the number of people allowed in at one time.
Stiles said Friday at least three lifeguards, one attendant and one manager will be on hand at all times. About 75-100 people can use the pool at one time now. In the past upwards of 400 might be using the pool, Stiles said.
“I think we’ve got to give it a shot,” Mayor Jean Guillot said. But council agreed that, if pool users don’t follow the rules or are rude or confront workers enforcing the new rules, it may close.
COVID-19 rules include:
-All patrons’ temperatures will be checked before entering.
-Pool capacity will be limited to allow social distancing.
-Patrons must maintain six-foot distancing on the deck and in the water.
-Access to showers and restrooms will be limited to allow for social distancing.
-Everyone is encouraged to wear face coverings when not in the water.
-Separate entry and exit points will be marked and must be followed.
-Patrons must bring their own lawn chairs.
Restrooms, common areas and “touch points” will be cleaned hourly.
The pool will be open noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday for general swimming. Lap swimming will be 11 a.m.-noon Tuesday-Saturday and 5-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Night swimming will be 6-8 p.m Tuesday and Thursday.
The pool will be closed Sunday and Monday, also a change, to accommodate the need for cleaning and because of staffing.
Swimming lessons, one of the pool’s most popular offerings, will not be offered this year. The pool can still be rented for private parties.
For information on one-day prices and season passes, call 304-329-1256 or 304-329-0856.
The coronavirus comes after residents of the city struggled to reopen the pool.
The pool was closed from 2013 until 2017, reopening just two years ago after area companies volunteered to remove the roof that was causing problems. In addition to the donations, the city contributed $50,000 that first year for repairs and personnel.
The pool has come close to breaking even since it reopened, but Stiles warned council that may not happen this year. Still, council said, it’s a service people want.