Pools opening on rolling basis

The heat is on and city pools are making final preparations so residents can make a big splash this summer without having to travel far.

The city Parks & Recreation began opening select pools on June 14 and plans on having every “available” pool in the city in service later this summer with free swim lessons and continued lifeguard training.

Parks & Recreation Interim Commissioner Orlando Rendon announced that the city will open 61 pools this summer, representing all of the outdoor public pools “available for use.” Public pools will open on a rolling basis, which began June 14 — one week earlier than last year and just in time for summer break for students.

“Our public pools are a beloved part of summer in the city, and a great way to cool down, have fun and stay active this summer,” said Rendon. “Like every municipality, seaside town and private pool in the country, Philadelphia was facing a dire lifeguard shortage. With the support of so many Philadelphians, we are proud to be able to open 100 percent of the ‘available’ pools this summer, a critical step to providing free swim lessons and building Philadelphia’s pipeline of future lifeguards.” 

According to city officials, city pools have a workforce of about 700 pool staff, including 350 lifeguards and 350 pool maintenance attendants. All public pools offer free swimming lessons. Pool hours and details about swimming lessons are available on the Parks & Rec Finder App.

“Thanks to hundreds of dedicated residents who stepped up and answered our call to work as lifeguards, we are bucking the national trend and on track to open 100% of ‘available’ public pools this summer,” said Mayor Jim Kenny. “Our public pools are a sanctuary for residents on hot summer days and an important place for communities to come together, relax and recreate.”

Forty-one public pools are scheduled to open in June including six of the nine “available” pools located in South Philly. The Marian Anderson Pool (740 S. 17th St.) and Ford Pool (609 Snyder Ave.) were open as of June 17. The O’Connor Pool (2601 South St.) and Sacks Pool (400 Washington Ave.) are expected to be opened June 25.

Ridgway Pool at 1301 Carpenter St. is scheduled for June 27 and the Chew Pool at 1800 Washington Ave. will open June 28.

Barry Pool (1800 Johnston St.) will open July 2; Murphy Pool (300 W. Shunk St.) will open July 4; and Stinger Square (1400 S. 32nd St.) will open after July 5 with a date yet to be determined. The pool-opening schedule is subject to change and available on phila.gov/ppr.

Pool schedules will vary based on available staffing. In neighborhoods with multiple pools, nearby pools may operate on a split schedule to maximize community access. Residents can also stay cool by visiting any of the city’s 90-plus spraygrounds, open seven days a week through Labor Day. Residents can search for all open pools and spraygrounds near them using the Parks & Rec Finder App. A new sprayground was opened at the East Passyunk Community Center at 1025 Mifflin St. on June 13.

“With our first pools opening on June 14, this summer young people can go straight from the classroom to the pool deck,” said Bill Salvatore, Parks & Recreation’s Deputy Commissioner of Programs. “We are opening pools earlier than ever, and offering six weeks of swim lessons to thousands of summer campers, so there is a lot to be excited about on the public pool deck this year. None of it would be possible without the dedicated support of our incredible city lifeguards and pool maintenance attendants.”

Parents and caregivers are responsible for watching their children in the pool deck. Any child under the age of 8 must be within arms reach of their parent or guardian at all times when in the water.