Closing Pools Make It Tough To Stay Cool

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy

Knoxville (WVLT) -- You'll soon have one less place to cool off from these scorching summer temperatures, at least during the hottest part of the day.

Starting Monday, you can't take a dip in the Westside YMCA's outdoor pool until late in the afternoon.

All summer, it's been a splish and splash effort to beat the heat.

But it's not the sweltering summer sun that brought Erica Bradley and her son to the West Side YMCA's outdoor pool.

"Jona had swim lessons and he was told to get in one or two times a week," Bradley said. "I hate that it's closing."

Come Monday, he won't be able to take an outdoor dip until late afternoon.

The Y's outdoor pool now won't open till 4:00 weekdays.

That cuts six hours of water time.

"We had to tweak our hours because everyone went back to school," said Teresa DeLoach, the Y's aquatics director.

Not just the kids in the water, but also those with the cautious, sun-glass hidden eyes watching them.

"We have a few college guards right now that are hanging in there with me, DeLoach said. "They start back to school on Wednesday."

The 400-thousand gallon pool typically cools off around 150 swimmers a day, but as you would expect, that has changed now that Knox County students have left the water for the classroom.

"It's really sad," DeLoach said. "It's like a ghost town."

Even though the days are empty, the slides are still busy after school.

For that reason, they have not yet completely closed down.

"By 4:00 things do pick up," DeLoach said. "Kids get out of school, they're hot and the day's been stressful. We definitely want to get them in the water for some good time."

As for the weekends, you should be able to do laps every one through September.

"The factor that will affect that the most in the UT football games," DeLoach said. "If we're dead then we know everyone would rather watch UT games than play at the pool."

You can still swim in the indoor pool all year round, exactly where Erica and Jona plan to go.

"For him for sure," Erica said, "he loves the water."

You can also still take a dip in indoor pools at the North, East, and Downtown YMCA's.

The west side's outdoor pool will completely close the last weekend in September.

For a complete list of pools and hours, you can click on the link below.


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