It's been a long, cold winter, but spring is finally here and with summer not far behind the city of Marietta is already preparing for the opening of the Aquatic Center's 2014 season.
"The pool will officially open on May 24 through the Memorial Day weekend, but we're already having a sale for those who purchase season passes early," said Susan Joyce, the city's recreation clerk.
She said the passes will be offered at a discount through the end of April and may be purchased on the city's website at mariettaoh.net or by calling the recreation office at 373-1616.
"We're really hoping for a long, hot summer this year," Joyce said. "We were at Mother Nature's mercy last year."
Mike Bishman, owner of Professional Pool Management, LLC, which has provided management and lifeguard services at the aquatic center for the last six years, said the 2013 season was impacted by more rain than usual.
"And if it even looks like it's going to rain people won't come to the pool," he said. "Last year was probably the worst season we've had since 2009. But we're looking forward to a much better season this year."
At a glance
Marietta Aquatic Center info:
Discounted season passes are on sale for the aquatic center through the end of April.
A form to purchase season passes is available online at mariettaoh.net or by calling Susan Joyce, recreation clerk, at 373-1616.
Daily admission to the aquatic center will remain at $5 for children and $6 for adults.
Professional Pool Management, which operates the Aquatic Center, is offering two more classes for lifeguard training this month. The first class begins April 14, and the second starts April 28.
For more information email Professional Pool Management owner Mike Bishman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 350-7922.
Professional Pool Management is in the middle of a two-year contract with the city and, if city council approves, has the option to extend the contract for another two years in 2015.
"They have a good management group and have done an excellent job working with the city every year," Joyce said. "We have a good working relationship with them."
The Professional Pool Management contract was $172,331 for 2013.
In addition to lifeguards and managers, Professional Pool Management provides concession workers and other services for the aquatic center.
"We're also able to obtain discounts on pool chemicals because we buy them in bulk for all the facilities we manage," Bishman said.
The company will also manage pools for the village of Beverly as well as for Williamstown, Vienna, and Parkersburg in West Virginia this year.
Bishman said Professional Pool Management hires more than 100 lifeguards for the season, and is conducting two more lifeguard training classes this month.
"We teach by the Red Cross method, and try to get the classes completed within one week," he said.
Joyce said crews will begin preparing the aquatic center for the 2014 season later this month.
"We have to wait until the weather stabilizes before they can turn the water on and start cleaning and doing whatever maintenance is needed before the pool opens," she said.
Joyce noted that daily admission to the aquatic center will remain at $5 for children and $6 for adults in 2014.
"We've tried to keep that affordable for everyone," she said. "And it's a good family-oriented facility."