American pools traditionally follow the social arc of summer, opening Memorial Day Weekend and closing up shop at the end of Labor Day weekend.
While Pittsburgh’s pools generally miss the first milepost, the hope of a September sunset to the season remained this year. Just last week, the Citiparks website read, “Citiparks’ 18 outdoor swimming pools will open June 11, 2018 until Labor Day, staff and weather permitting.”
But on Friday, 12 pools will close early for the season.
Summer, we barely knew ye.
Like most things, it came down to resources. It’s expensive to maintain the city’s aging outdoor pools, and takes a lot of people to staff them; most of the lifeguards and pool aides are heading back to school, said Citiparks’ acting director Ross Chapman.
“Without a doubt there are, and probably have been, and will be, people internal to the city and external residents that use our aquatics facility that you know, wish that we could keep them all open as late as we can keep them open,” he said.
While the pool contraction is pretty typical, Chapman said the pools are a valuable public resource, and the department wants to do more.
“Ideally we could revisit this next year,” he said. “Ideally, maybe we could keep eight pools open, I don’t know. But those are conversations that I think I will certainly have.”
Six pools will remain open through Labor Day: Highland Park and Schenley in the east, Jack Stack and Sue Murray in the north, and Ream and Moore pools in the South.