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Here are the 15 public pools opening this summer in Pittsburgh

People swim in the Ormsby outdoor pool.
Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
The Ormsby swimming pool in the South Side Flats.

After weeks of uncertainty from city residents and public officials, Pittsburgh has announced 15 of its 18 public pools will open on June 17. The city announced Friday some pools will open with more limited hours than others.

“We appreciate the community’s support in this year’s lifeguard recruitment efforts,” said Kathryn Vargas, Director, CitiParks. “We are encouraged with the growth of our team and being able to open 15 pools.”

The following pools will operate from noon to 7:45 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from noon to 5:45 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays:

  • Ammon
  • Jack Stack
  • Highland Park
  • Magee
  • Moore
  • Phillips
  • Ormsby
  • Ream
  • Schenley
  • West Penn
  • Westwood

Four additional pools will open with more limited hours.
Banksville and Riverview pools will operate from noon to 4:45 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and they will stay open an hour later on weekends and holidays. McBride and Sue Murray pools will operate from noon to 4:45 p.m. on weekdays only.

The city recruited 145 lifeguards for the season after a rigorous recruiting effort and increasing hourly pay for the positions. The pools prioritized to open, and their hours of operation, were chosen based on attendance records, though one well-attended location is not on the list: Bloomfield pool.

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According to the mayor’s office, the pool has a hole in the lining in addition to another, undisclosed mechanical issue. Similarly, Sheraden has an undisclosed issue, though the mayor’s office said the renovations required there are different than those needed at Bloomfield.

Homewood pool will remain closed for the season because crews are expected to begin construction on a larger renovation project at Homewood Field Park this summer.

Much ink has been spilled about the city’s struggle to attract enough lifeguards to open all 18 of its pools. A similar issue has afflicted pools and beaches nationwide, and the shortage last year meant the city was able to open only 12 of its pools.

In an effort to confront the shortage, the city parks department launched a pilot program for students at Westinghouse High School in the Emergency Response Technology program. The “lifeguard academy” was designed to attract more recruits and give students swimming experience. The parks department began recruiting kids in the winter for classes that began in March.

Vargas said the academy is designed for kids who are interested in becoming EMTs or other types of first responders after high school. She said some members of the city’s water rescue team started as city pool lifeguards.

“For a lot of people, [lifeguarding] could be the first exposure to a public safety kind of role," she said. "It might spark an interest in something like EMS work."

“We hope that the continued growth of lifeguard staff in future summers will allow us to return to full capacity that would include offering additional programs such as learn-to-swim lessons, water aerobics and swim team,” Vargas said Friday.

Mayor Ed Gainey applauded the parks department’s recruitment efforts this year and the apparent staffing boost that resulted.

“Director Vargas and her team worked hard again this year to ensure residents had pools open this summer. They have made great strides in onboarding lifeguards and opening more pools,” he said. “I am proud of the work they have done for the people of Pittsburgh.”

Seasonal pool tags will be available for purchase at pool entry gates beginning opening day. City residents age 15 and younger can swim free with a CitiParks recreation membership tag.

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.