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JUMP IN: Area pools ready for summer season

by on May 18, 2014 1:55 AM

It’s that time of year again — when children and families flock to the nearest pool to cool off in the summer sun.

Summer swim time is offered in different communities throughout the region. A swimming area is also a feature of Yellow Creek State Park near Penn Run.

Two of the communities, Homer City and Saltsburg, have started initiatives this year for pool upgrades.

HOMER-CENTER POOL

The Homer-Center Pool in Homer City is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year.

The pool has been entered by Homer-Center Parks and Recreation for a remodel through a contest called “The Ultimate Give Back Challenge,” sponsored by mortgage company Guaranteed Rate and Ty Pennington, of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

According to the pool’s contest and voting page, the “vintage pool” has “felt the effects of time.”

It cites a limited budget that doesn’t allow for many repairs, some that are required to ensure the safety of those who use the facility.

“Children have spent their summers escaping the heat” at the pool, the page says. “We are proud to continue to provide a safe and affordable place for children to spend their summer.”

Visiting Homer-Center’s pool during the summer, it says, is a tradition that’s gone on for generations.

“Most residents of our community will tell you that they loved the pool as a child and they still take their children there today.”

The pool features a baby pool that has shelter from the sun as well as a deck that, because of its crumbling structure on the grade of hill it sits on, is now unusable.

Through the contest, Homer-Center Parks and Recreation is requesting a cement pad to replace the pool’s deck and a new pavilion crafted partly with stone.

As of Tuesday, more than 170 people had voted for the renovations of the pool.

You can cast a vote for the pool by visiting bit.ly/SWNdzB.

According to Homer-Center Park and Recreation’s website, the pool will open the last day of school, on June 4. It will be open daily from noon to 6 p.m. for a daily admission of $6.

Summer-long pool passes for families of up to six are $200 and pool passes for students are $100.

SALTSBURG POOL

Saltsburg’s swimming pool, on 10th Street in Saltsburg, will open for the season on June 8.

Throughout the summer, it will be open from 1 to 6 p.m. daily.

According to Becky Kravetski, of the Conemaugh Township and Saltsburg Rec Board, the board is working to make the pool handicap accessible this summer.

A booth to raise money through donations for the upgrade will be set up at Saltsburg’s Canal Days, June 6 to 8.

In addition, donations can be made to the rec board by mailing them to 230 10th St., Saltsburg 15681.

Throughout the summer, she said, “free days” are also held.

When donations are made by businesses to sponsor the free days, they will be announced.

Daily admission to the pool is $5. Pool passes for the summer are $175 for a family and $110 for an individual until June 8. After, the passes are $200 for a family and $135 for an individual.

MACK PARK POOL

On South Sixth Street in White Township, the Mack Park staff has been preparing for weeks for the opening of Mack Park Pool, sandblasting the pool, caulking its crevices and giving it a new paint job.

Operated by the YMCA of Indiana County, the pool is set to open Memorial Day weekend, May 24, and will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday through Monday.

Its initial hours will be: May 27 to 30, 2:30 to 7 p.m.; May 31 and June 1, noon to 6 p.m.; June 2 through 4, 2:30 to 7 p.m.

Summer hours will begin on June 5 and continue through Aug. 24, when the pool will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 6 p.m. on weekends.

Mack Park Pool is heated and has a water slide as well as other in-water attractions for kids. There are also eight 25-yard lap lanes.

The pool holds Neon Nights every second and fourth Friday of the month from 8:15 to 10 p.m. The park provides glow sticks and necklaces. Neon Nights costs $4 for members and $8 for nonmembers.

In addition, the pool offers swimming lessons Monday through Thursday in two-week sessions.

The day-use fee for the pool is $6 for children ages 3 to 10; $6 for students between the ages of 11 and 17; $8 for college students and adults; and $6 for seniors. Children under the age of 2 can enter the pool area for free with a paying adult.

Summer pool passes are also available at rates of: $62.50 for children ages 3 to 10; $87.50 for students between the ages of 11 and 17; $77.50 for college students; $110 for a single adult between the ages of 18 and 64; $225 for a household including adults and dependent children under 24 years old; and $87.50 for seniors.

GEORGE C. BROWN MEMORIAL POOL

Punxsyutawney’s George C. Brown Memorial Pool, on Cypress Street, will open on May 31, offering some new features for Punxs’y swimmers this year.

According to Lisa Switlick, a Splash (Save Punxy Local and Area Swimming Hole) volunteer, new lifeguard stands, donated by a local family in honor of a former Punxsutawney lifeguard, will be dedicated at the May 31 opening. Admission to the pool is free on that day.

The pool will be open from noon to 6 p.m. daily, except Thursdays, when it’s open from noon to 8 p.m.

The George C. Brown Memorial Pool, Switlick said, is “truly a swimmers’ pool,” with most of the pool at five feet deep. At its shallow end, it’s two and a half feet deep.

For the young swimmers, a baby wading pool was added in 2009, with a zero-depth entry and total depth of 18 inches at its deepest. It features bubblers and spraying water for kids to play in.

Switlick hopes that a new water feature can be added to the shallow end of the pool mid-summer.

“There’s usually several days in the summer that we have more than 200 bathers,” Switlick said. “On an average day there are about 70 (people).”

Daily passes for the pool are $5; family passes are $150 for the season and individual passes are $75.

YELLOW CREEK STATE PARK

Yellow Creek State Park, a 2,981-acre, park off Route 422 east of Penn Run, makes another summer-afternoon getaway.

In addition to picnic areas, boating rentals and hiking trails, the park is home to a swimming area.

According to the state park’s website, the 800-foot beach area is open from late-May to mid-September from 8 a.m. to sunset.

Visitors are advised to “swim at your own risk.”

A bathhouse and snack bar are in the beach area.



Ellen Matis is the digital media coordinator and a staff writer at The Indiana Gazette. She is the person behind the Gazette's social media. A 2012 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Ellen has a degree in journalism and public relations. Follow her on Twitter, @EllenMatis, or email her at ematis@indianagazette.net.
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