Just add swimmers

The pool at the Pipestone Family Aquatic Center has been filled and the final preparations are underway to prepare for the start of the center’s 25th year on Wednesday, June 8.

Pipestone Recreation Director Robert “Pete” Petersen said 17 lifeguards have been hired, which is more than in recent years. Nonetheless, he said the aquatic center can always use more lifeguards.

The days and hours of operation will also be increased this year. The pool will be open seven days a week. Open swim will be from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays; and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Lap swim will be Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m. and Family Fun nights will be Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The pool will be available for rentals Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Petersen said there are already several rentals scheduled, including one by the Pipestone Elementary Booster Club, which is hosting a pool party with free admission for Pipestone Area Schools elementary students and their families from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 12.

“It’s all hands on deck for us that day because there are going to be a lot of kids here,” Petersen said.

He said another DJ evening at the pool is in the works as well, but no date has been set.

Also returning this summer are season passes. Rather than the former sewed on patches, Petersen said there will be cards with names, identification numbers and bar codes on them.

“Show the card, you’re in,” he said.

Petersen said prices have been reduced this year to make them more comparable to those in other cities of comparable size and make it more affordable for community members. The daily admission fee, for example, is $3 for ages 7 and up this year compared to $5 last year.

The pool is expected to be open until the weekend of Aug. 13 and 14. Petersen said fall sports and college begin after that and that takes away many of the lifeguards.

Petersen thanked Bob Bullerman, the city’s certified pool operator and the public works crew for their help in preparing the pool for the season, and expressed appreciation for the summer staff members at the aquatic center.