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Clairton Pool helps residents beat the heat

| Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sandra Sporio hopes to continue a summer tradition of going to the Clairton Pool with her family.

She lives in the city and recently purchased season passes for her daughter Amber Sporio and a dozen other relatives.

'It`s the nicest pool in the area,' Amber Sporio of Elizabeth said. 'They have a kiddie pool so you don`t have to worry about kids drowning.'

'You`ll save all kinds of gas money over here,' Sandra Sporio said. 'We want people from other towns here so they can keep this beautiful pool.'

Free parking for those using the pool, located in Clairton Park along Route 885 in Clairton, also is available. The pool has a twisting water slide and a ramp for the physically disabled leads into the shallow end of the pool.

Jefferson Hills area resident Sarah Elkowitz remembers coming to the pool as a young girl, and said it is a great place for children.

'Your kids can learn how to swim better,' she said. 'They can meet more friends in this type of setting.'

Amber Sporio said the Clairton Pool provides a more calm atmosphere than a water park.

'It`s too busy at Sandcastle. It`s relaxing here,' she said. 'The pool`s big enough to swim in. You don`t have to battle people.'

'It`s Clairton`s best asset,' city manager Howard Bednar said. 'It`s a huge pool. It`s a nice pool.'

The pool also costs money to operate, and the city may have an economic decision as to whether it can be financially maintained in the future, the manager said.

Annual operating cost is estimated to be more than $12,000. Exact figures were not available at presstime.

City council changed prices for season passes twice this year. The first set of prices was set in January. Residents were expected to pay $60 for an adult single season pass and $75 for non-residents. There were other pass categories, each designed to have non-residents pay at least $15 more than residents.

Bednar said that policy may have deterred people from coming to the swimming facility, and all season passes were changed to $50 for residents and non-residents alike.

'We need non-residents to come to the pool. The city of Clairton by itself is not going to (fund) this pool,' Bednar said.

Bednar said no refunds were necessary because passes were not sold under the old rate.

The first pool passes were sold on June 12, and it opened the following day. Hours of operation are noon to 7 p.m. daily, weather permitting. A new liner was installed last year.

Bednar also said night swim was discontinued this year because of lack of attendance.

He noted the city is working to establish swimming lessons, water aerobics, a movie night and other aquatic activities.

Admission is $5 per person per day. Those less than 36 inches tall get in free. Pool rental from 7-10 p.m. is $400, plus a refundable $100 cleanup fee.

Day passes are available at the pool. Season passes are available at the municipal building. For more information, call 412-233-8113.

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