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Pittsburgh officials announce these 11 city pools will open this summer

Photo courtesy Citiparks, City of Pittsburgh

The City of Pittsburgh will open 11 of its 18 pools this summer. While that’s three more sites than 2021, it still leaves seven pools shuttered due to an ongoing lifeguard shortage.

The following locations will open Saturday, June 18:

  • Ammon
  • Bloomfield
  • Jack Stack
  • Highland Park
  • Magee
  • Moore
  • Ormsby
  • Ream
  • Riverview
  • Schenley
  • Westwood
Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Jack Stack Pool in Brighton Heights in the spring of 2021.

These pools were selected based on capacity, condition, attendance trends and the number of lifeguards available, according to the city.

Pittsburgh was able to hire more lifeguards this year than in 2021 but not enough to operate additional pool benefits like swimming lessons, water aerobics and swim team activities, according to a press release.

Before the pandemic, the city hired as many as 150 lifeguards for the season, according to the Parks and Recreation Department. This year, the city hopes to hire about 100 guards.

"We are excited that we have been able to train, certify and hire additional lifeguards this summer in order to open more pools," said Kathryn Vargas, director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department. "However, it is important to note that staffing numbers are still lower than pre-pandemic levels."

Pool hours are weather dependent but will generally operate as follows:

  • Monday - Friday
    • 12 - 1 p.m.: adult lap swim
    • 1 - 7 p.m.: open swim
    • 7 - 7:45 p.m.: adult lap swim
  • Saturday, Sunday and holidays
    • 12 - 1 p.m.: adult lap swim
    • 1 - 5:45 p.m.: open swim

District 7 City Councilor Deb Gross announced early Friday the news that the Bloomfield pool would open this year. Many Pittsburghers rejoiced in the news on Twitter.

She cited an increase in lifeguard pay as one reason the city will be able to open more sites. Lifeguards will earn $16 per hour this year to start. “That helped a good deal, but not enough,” Gross said. “We have 18 pools. Last year we opened only 8, and this year it is only 11.”

The city is still accepting applications for lifeguards. An applicant must be 16 years old by September 6 to qualify. The city will cover the costs of certifications and state clearances.

Lifeguards could make up to $18.50 per hour, up considerably from last year’s average of $11 per hour.

“CitiParks has worked hard for Pittsburgh to improve upon last year’s swim season,” said Mayor Ed Gainey. “They have made great strides in onboarding lifeguards and opening more pools. I am proud of the work they have done for the people of Pittsburgh."

Seasonal pool tags will be available for purchase at entry gates beginning June 18.

Kiley Koscinski covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.