There was hardly a cloud in the sky as the sun shined brightly over the Central Park Pool on its opening day Friday.
Children laughed and ran eagerly into the water as parents watched and sunbathed around the pool’s edge.
In the past, the Central Park Pool has drawn hundreds of people on opening day. This year, there were only a handful of families in the first two hours, but pool supervisor Julie Rouse said that was most likely due to the pool opening a few days earlier than usual.
“We usually open about three days later than this,” Rouse said. “I think people just don’t realize we’re open quite yet. It’s also a busy time of year with all of the graduations going on. But with this great weather, I expect it will start getting busy soon.”
This year, the pool is requiring all swimmers ages 13 and up to have a photo ID to enter the facilities, and all swimmers ages 5 and under are required to have an adult swimmer in the water with them at all times.
Schenectady resident Lisa Glantzis said Friday was her first time visiting the Central Park Pool in over 40 years, and she’s glad to have a pool so close that she can take her son to.
“When I have a full day off, we usually go to the Victoria Pool in Saratoga,” said Glantzis. “But when I don’t have as much time, this pool is clean, it’s beautiful and it’s free.”
Aside from the shouts and splashes of the swimmers, the pool is located in a quiet location, surrounded by trees and park greenery. Just outside the fence, there is a playground and picnic tables. Parking is only 500 feet away, and ice cream trucks drive through selling cold treats just after noon.
The Central Park Pool is a wade-in style pool with a 2-foot-deep shallow end; this allows for wheelchairs to be easily rolled into the water. At the city’s Hillhurst and Quackenbush pools, there are also hydraulic lifts to give those who are disabled access to the pool.
“All of our pools are accessible to everyone,” Rouse said.
Rouse also said she is considering starting a water aerobics class at the Hillhurst Park Pool if the community shows enough interest. Rouse encouraged people to call the pool office at 374-4714 to let officials know they would be interested in a class.
Claudia Martin came to the Central Park Pool with her family. She swam in the deeper end of the pool while she watched her niece splash around in the shallow end.
“I used to come here a lot when I was a kid, and we still come almost every day to cool off during the summer,” Martin said as she and her family shared snacks and drinks.
The Central Park Pool will have open swim from 12:30 to 6 p.m. weekdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Swim lessons will be held from 10 a.m. to noon weekdays.
The Hillhurst and Quackenbush pools are both scheduled to open Monday.
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