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Pittsburgh officials lay out plans to open Sue Murray pool

Nick Konopka
90.5 WESA

The Sue Murray pool on Pittsburgh’s North Side is expected to reopen by the end of the month, following weeks of lobbying from neighborhood organizations. At a recent public meeting, officials presented their plans to staff and operate the facility this summer.

Originally city officials cited a high volume of 911 calls and unsafe behavior taking place near the pool, but Jake Wheatley, chief of staff for Mayor Ed Gainey, said the information that led to that decision is being reviewed.

“Unfortunately, what we got presented wasn't necessarily filtered through an equity lens, and it was filtered to folks' own biases,” Wheatley said.

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

According to acting Director of Parks and Recreation Kathryn Vargas, Sue Murray will operate on a to-be-determined split schedule with another North Side pool, Riverview. The pools will either be open on alternating days throughout the week or open every day, dividing the afternoon in half.

Vargas said a lack of staffing is the main reason the pools won’t be open at full hours.

“The more that we can build the team, the more we can add to the capacity of being able to have both pools open for more time,” Vargas said.

The city is considering covering the cost of lifeguard certification to streamline the hiring process.

Start your morning with today's news on Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania.

Sue Murray was the daughter of a councilman from the ward where the pool is located. Her father served in council in the 1920s when the pool was built and insisted it be named after her.

On Wednesday due to the heat, CitiParks opened five additional Health Active Living Centers as cooling centers for residents. The facilities will be open until 7 p.m. The five centers are located in Brighton Heights, Greenfield, Homewood, Sheraden and the South Side Market House.

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA and 91.3 WYEP, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community.