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Youngwood, Greensburg pools emerge from soggy spring openings

| Thursday, June 20, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Lindsay Dill | Tribune-Review
Lifeguard Victoria Bradnam, 20, watches over the empty pool in Youngwood last Friday.
Lindsay Dill | Tribune-Review
Gavin Warnken, 7, of Youngwood tentatively tests the water last Friday at Youngwood Area Park & Pool. The pool has frequently remained closed or closed early this season due to poor weather.
Lindsay Dill | Tribune-Review
Babysitter Janista Frank, 18, of Greensburg helps to dry off Gavin Warnken, 7, of Youngwood as he shivers after emerging from the Youngwood Area Park & Pool.
Lindsay Dill | Tribune-Review
Quintin Gatons, 10, of Greensburg impresses his friends with a back flip off the diving board at Veterans Memorial Pool in Greensburg on Tuesday. The day was marked by clouds and intermittent showers.

Many community pools have seen an increase in attendance over the past several years and Youngwood Park and Pool is no exception.

Rob Genard, president of the Youngwood Area Park and Pool Board, said he has seen a huge increase in the number of season passes.

His wife, pool manager Kelly Genard, agreed with his assessment that the increase has a lot to do with gas prices and the economy.

“People just aren't doing vacations like they used to,” she said. “They're doing ‘staycations' instead.”

With the swim season starting off with a number of rainy days, Kelly Genard said that, if the weather is too cold, her complete roster of 17 lifeguards does not report for duty. But usually someone is always there cleaning the pool.

This year, Youngwood Park and Pool invested $60,000 of its $75,000 annual budget into a new filter system.

“The filters gave out on us at the end of last year,” Rob Genard said. “We redesigned the system in the off season and now it's up and running.”

Convenience for guests is a top priority for community pools, where officials are hoping for more sunny days as summer makes its official debut today.

Veterans Memorial Pool at Lynch Field in Greensburg this year added a handicap lift chair for $4,000. A fence was repaired on the deck for $3,000 and additional deck repairs were completed for another $3,000, according to Trudy Ivory, a recreation department employee who has worked for the city for 20 years. She manages the pool and the Kirk S. Nevin Ice Arena.

Veterans Memorial Pool, which has been in existence since 1962, operates on an annual budget of $90,000, she said.

In the middle of summer when the weather is hot, the community pool can attract as many as 400 people. On a normal day, when temperatures are in the 80s, about 175 to 200 people come to the pool. Ivory has 13 lifeguards on her schedule.

“All pool seasons are weather driven,” Ivory said. “The last 10 years have been consistent with the number of people at the pool.”

Passes range from $175-200 for a family; $105-$130 for individuals, and $80-$105 for children at Veterans Memorial Pool. In Youngwood, a season pass for two adults and four children is $210. An individual pass costs $120.

Both pools are open daily from noon until 6 p.m., weather permitting.

Michele Stewardson is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.