3 Jacksonville pools reopen; 2 more to come
Kids are splashing at three more city pools.
The summer started with only half of Jacksonville's pools open due to maintenance issues and a shortage of lifeguards. But as of Friday, 19 of 34 pools were open, with the summer swimming season about half over.
The city just added Baldwin Middle/High School, Robert Kennedy Pool and Emmett Reed Pool to the mix and plans to open Terry Parker High School and San Souci Pool as soon as possible.
The latest pools to open are scattered around the city: Emmett Reed at 1093 W. Sixth St., Kennedy Community Center pool at 1133 Ionia St., and Baldwin Middle/Senior High School at 345 Chestnut St.
Next to open: San Souci Pool at Adolph Wurn Park, 2115 Dean Road, and the Terry Parker Pool at 7301 Parker School Road.
Mayor Donna Deegan has met with Parks and Recreation officials to discuss short- and long-term solutions, including partnerships with nonprofit agencies that would make use of more community pools that are open. The city also is looking at ways to work with nonprofits to transport children to those pools, if the one closest to them isn't open.
The city also plans to add $500,000 to the pool budget for maintenance as it looks at lifeguard salaries to make them more competitive, with plans to begin a marketing campaign to recruit lifeguards ahead of the 2024 summer.
All city pools are scheduled to halt weekday hours Aug. 6, as Duval County schools reopen on Aug. 15. Outdoor pools do stay open through Labor Day, but only on weekends, the city says.