Shawnee County Parks & Recreation feeling optimistic about pools re-opening on time

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)- Shawnee County Parks & Recreation leaders have began discussing their plan to re-open pools and aquatic centers for the summer. Last year, pools didn’t re-open for the season until the end of June due to COVID-19.

During its meeting Tuesday, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board began discussing the aquatic schedule, including swim lessons, aquatic fitness classes and open swim.

Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Director Tim Laurent said they are optimistic about the upcoming season.

“We learned a lot last year,” Laurent said. “We were able to open aquatic facilities. I think providing we’re able to get enough staff we should be able to open on time.”

Parks and Recreation looks to hire more than 150 lifeguards each year. The county has posted job listings for seasonal staff, including lifeguards, earlier this month. Click here to apply.

Laurent said another factor in reopening will be the pandemic and the county guidelines.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion with the health department,” Laurent said. “We’re trying to make sure we are following the rules we should be following and we’ve been doing that. Our hope is that, like everybody, that we’re turning the corner on this.”

Some communities, like Manhattan, have discussed closing some of their pools this summer due to budget issues. Laurent said that is not currently a concern in Shawnee County.

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