Utica, N.Y. - Utica has three popular city pools it opens each summer for the public to use. Monday was opening day of the season, but only one of the three pools opened.
Seymour Pool in North Utica was quite busy on opening day, but is expected to be even busier on Wednesday. That's the first day the city will begin busing kids from both the Addison Miller pool in South Utica and Buckley Pool in East Utica. Those two pools are undergoing some unexpected major repairs.
Utica Assistant Recreation Director Chet Loconte says the repairs to those two pools were necessary, "It was time to do the upgrades, and as they started to pull out the liner they just found more issues and they said instead of patching it and putting a band-aid on a big dam, let’s just fix it, and the mayor said let’s do it."
Loconte says the city is going to use a busing system to try to help accommodate as many kids as possible, "People are calling about it already asking where they can go? We tell them Seymour and they say my kids can’t get there, but we tell them we’re going to bus them in on Wednesdays and Fridays. We can’t do it everyday, but at least we can do two days for now."
So starting with this Wednesday, parents can drop their kids off at noon at either the Addison Miller Pool or Buckley Pool and they will be bused over to the Seymour Pool and then brought back at 4:15.
Loconte is urging parents to go with their kids, but for those who can't he says things are being done to make sure the kids are safe and well supervised, "I’m going to have two staff members, which are actually 21 years and older, on that bus there as security guards. One is actually a teacher. He’s going to get on the bus, drive here, stay here, and be like my eyes on deck also here, but they have to fill out a waiver even before they get on the bus."
Loconte says under Seymour Pool's square footage, the maximum capacity is 302 kids. He says with busing up to 50 kids from Addison Miller and up to 50 kids from Buckley, along with all the kids from around Utica who make their way to the pool, the Seymour Pool could potentially reach that capacity.
Loconte says all 16 lifeguards hired by the city for all three pools will work at this one pool until the other pools open, "Target date is July 18th for Addison, and then once Addison is done they’re going to continue to work on Buckley. We’re trying to get one open and that will relieve lot of the stress from one pool."
Once again, if you do not have a way to get your kids to the Seymour Pool in North Utica, you can take them to either the Addison Miller Pool or Buckley Pool on Wednesdays and Fridays at noon. They will be returned to that same location at 4:15. Loconte is urging parents who can go with the kids on the bus to do so.