Both of Jackson County’s public swimming pools benefited from other facilities being closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chris Boggs, who manages Shields Park Pool in Seymour with her husband, Dave, had swim teams from area schools, some college swimmers and families rent the pool last summer. Plus, they had good general admission attendance from not only people within the county but from other areas of the state.
All the while, they were able to follow the pandemic restrictions and remain open.
“Our most profitable summer ever,” said Boggs, who has helped manage the pool since 1991.
Jamie Temple, who manages Brownstown Pool, said people from outside the county also frequented her facility, resulting in a big season.
“In the almost 10 years that I’ve been manager, it was our biggest yet. It was a really big year for us,” she said. “Us and Seymour were the only pools open, so we got a lot of out-of-towners from other counties.”
Both pools open for the 2021 season on Saturday and recently released all of the information patrons need to know. They are anxiously awaiting to see what the new season brings, considering most of the pools that closed last year plan to reopen this year.
“It will be interesting to see,” Boggs said.
Temple said people from other areas who came last year already have called to ask if Brownstown Pool will be open again this year.
“We’re hoping they come back,” she said. “I think it was just everyone was just ready to get out and try something that was outside with their families that they felt safe doing. They didn’t have a whole lot of options, so us and Seymour were the two options that they had, and I think that’s why we both saw success from it.”
Shields Park Pool
Hours at Shields Park Pool will be from noon to 5 p.m. daily. General admission is $4 for ages 6 and up, $2 for ages 3 to 5 and free for 2 and under when accompanied by an adult.
Swim diapers and life jackets will be available for $2 apiece. Season passes are available for $40 per person.
Lap swimming will go from 11 a.m. to noon and from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The cost is $2 for ages 14 and up.
The pool also will offer small group swim lessons for $40 for ages 4 and up in four different levels. Sessions will be Monday through Thursday from June 14 to 24 and July 12 to 22. It will be from 11 to 11:30 a.m. or 5:15 to 5:45 p.m. for children and from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. for adults.
Private one-on-one lessons are $12 per 20 minutes or $15 for 30 minutes. Dates and times can be arranged with an instructor.
There also are toddler/parent lessons to give parents information and techniques to help orient their 2- or 3-year-old child to the water and supervise water activities in a safe manner. They will be from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday June 14 to 24, and parents are required to accompany their child in the water. The cost is $40.
The pool also may be rented from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. weekdays, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays and from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays for birthdays, private parties and special occasions. Special rates are available upon request for groups of 10 or more.
New this year is a free swim night from 6 to 8 p.m. June 24 for families of individuals with special needs. Both Chris and Dave work with that population in their job with Seymour schools.
“We’re going to do it once first and see how it goes,” Chris said.
The Seymour Splash meet is back on the schedule this year, too, set for July 9 to 11. The 2019 event drew more than 500 swimmers from 22 teams from across the state, but it was among the meets canceled by USA Swimming in 2020. That was supposed to be the 30th annual event.
“Our kids have not competed as a swim team really in a year and a half. They finished with divisionals, which would have been end of February, first of March last year,” Chris said.
“We are going to swim in Columbus in June, so that will be the first time they will get to compete as a team,” she said. “We had a few kids go to state meets, but your parents couldn’t go watch, and it wasn’t the same thing. You didn’t have all of your teammates there.”
Brownstown Pool hours will be from noon to 6 p.m. daily. General admission is $4 for ages 18 and up, $3.50 for ages 3 to 17 and free for ages 2 and under.
The option of purchasing a season pass will return this year. They are $40 for an individual or $100 for a family of four and $25 for each additional person with up to six on a pass.
“We’re hoping those work out good again,” Temple said. “We’re hoping that brings back more of our local crews, local families. I think because of not having passes (last year), some of our larger families weren’t able to come as often, so we’re hoping we’re able to get them back in.”
Lap swimming for adults will be available from 6 to 8 a.m. weekdays.
For those ages 4 and up wanting to learn how to swim, lessons will cost $65 for 10 half-hour sessions and be conducted weekday mornings.
Pool party rentals begin at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $150 (big pool for one hour), $250 (big pool for two hours), $200 (leisure pool for one hour), $300 (leisure pool for two hours), $350 (both pools for one hour) or $450 (both pools for two hours).
Rental of the nearby indoor park shelter house is available, too. It’s $100 per day with a refundable $50 cleaning deposit.
The Brownstown Park Board increased prices for 2021, but that hadn’t been done in about 20 years and was long overdue, Temple said.
“We’ve been fortunate to be able to keep those prices and still function, but it’s getting time to where things are getting tighter, especially with the pandemic and some of the hits that the local towns are going to be taking from that, cuts in budgets and things,” she said. “We’re definitely going to see the effects of that, I think, so we’re preparing for that.”
While she’s not sure about hosting movie nights this summer, Temple said she’s planning on having quiet time for individuals with special needs.
“We haven’t set anything, but it’s definitely going to happen,” she said. “With Shannon (McKeand, concessions manager) and I both working at the schools, we know that that’s something that the kids would definitely benefit from.”
Temple said there also has been some interest in the Brave Wave swim team. To offer this for local kids, however, a coach and dedicated volunteers are needed.
The team’s last season was 2019, but Temple said the number of swimmers continued to dwindle.
“I myself can’t take on any more, but I would gladly help somebody get it started,” she said. “I’ve had a couple of parents asking about starting back up, so I’m trying to get it going. Even if we can just do something local here where we have a Red and a Black team and they just swim against each other, just something to get it jump-started would be great. If it doesn’t get brought back, I’m afraid it’s going to be gone, and it has been around since the ’60s.”
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Shields Park Pool is at 794 N. Park St., Seymour.
The season starts Saturday with hours from noon to 5 p.m. daily.
For information, call 812-523-7665 or visit facebook.com/shieldsparkpool.
Brownstown Pool is at 715 W. Bridge St., Brownstown.
The season opens Saturday with hours from noon to 6 p.m. daily.
For information, call 812-358-3536 or visit facebook.com/brownstownpool. To book a party or swim lessons or buy pool passes, call 812-358-5500.