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Swim season opening draws large turnout
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Gilley Pool attendance during Memorial Day weekend was high. While 1,700 visitors dipped into summer with a splash in the pool, diving came to a halt Tuesday.
Saturday and Monday an estimated 650 visited the pool each day between the pool hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sunday, which is a short day from 1-6 p.m., there were 400 visitors.
“It was great,” said Wellness and Aquatics manager Justin Scott yesterday. “One day, people were lined up from the gate to the parking lot and cars couldn’t drive around. It was definitely a good start to the season.”
Emily Pennington said Tuesday was her second day in a row at the pool and the waiting line was long.
“We came yesterday,” she said. “The line went from the gate all the way to the end of the Civic Center. We got here early so we didn’t have to wait as long and got good chairs, but it was really crowded.”
Tuesday she was joined by her friend Chloe Wallace.
“This is my first time this year at the pool,” said Chloe. “I love it. It’s fun. We didn’t plan to meet. It just happened.”
Swimmers were missing something Tuesday that those over the weekend got to enjoy — diving boards.
“The impeller pump went out,” said McMinnville Parks and Recreation Committee Chairman Everett Brock. “That’s the part that spins and moves the water through the filters. Staff is looking for a replacement part. Hopefully, we will get this resolved in a couple of days.”
With the pump down, the only water circulating is that from the play fountains/ water features located in the wade-in area of the pool. Tuesday morning the water by the diving boards looked hazy.
“Safety comes first,” said Scott. “I came in this morning and made the decision to shut down that area of the pool. The bottom is just not clear enough. That’s the deepest section of the pool. Anything that builds up in the water will naturally accumulate there.”
Staff has been feeding chemicals into the water by hand and testing it regularly to make sure the water is safe.
“As long as the tests are good, we’re good,” said Brock. “The pool will remain open as long as the numbers are good. Hopefully we will find a replacement part within a couple of days.”
Scott says the plan is to leave the water features on 24 hours a day in an effort to keep the water moving as much as possible and to continue treating the water.
“Until we find a replacement part, that’s all we can do,” he said.
The diving boards will re-open when the part has been replaced and the water is clear.
Pool hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-6 p.m. Admission is $4. Water Aerobics classes are offered by instructor Jileen McGregor at 9 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday. Admission is $4.