Columbia public pools open for the summer, need staff
COLUMBIA – Public pools in Columbia opens for Memorial Day weekend, but they are still looking for more people to hire.
Columbia Parks and Recreation started opening the city pools Saturday, May 27. Albert-Oakland Family Aquatic Center is the first one to open.
Albert-Oakland, the largest of the four outdoor pools in Columbia, with the facility holding up to 1,000 people, currently has only 17 staff members out of a desired 30.
Allison Anderson, head manager of Albert-Oakland pool, and a six summer veteran of Columbia public pools, said the lack of workers is due to lack of awareness.
"I don't think there is not enough awareness about life guarding. When you go to the pool, the first thing you notice is probably not the life guard. I know I didn't," Anderson said. "I don't think people really know this is a job you can have. Because I think when people think of jobs they think of long term."
The aquatic centers are looking for more then just lifeguards Janel Twehous, aquatic supervisor for the city of Columbia, said.
"We are alway looking for lifeguards. We run anywhere from 145 to 175 on staff, and thats including lifeguards, swimming instructors, cashiers, concession, management staff. But we are still looking for a couple more lifeguards for sure," she said.
Anderson said that she loved the past six summers she worked in the aquatic facilities in Columbia.
"I love it. I always have fun here," she said. "The relationship and the friends you meet. I have friends that I've meet in this pool when I was 16 that I still talk to almost everyday. You are with each other every single day. You have a lot of fun -- you get to swim."
Ciara Clawson, assistant manager of Albert-Oakland pool, and Anderson said to be hired as a lifeguard, a person has to be over 15-years-old and undergo training.
Columbia has six aquatic facilities; four outdoors and two indoors.
"We are waiting for you guys to out here and swim. It's going to be a great summer. You are going to have a lot of fun and you are going to be safe," Anderson said.
Lake of the Woods, Douglass Family Aquatic Center and Little Mates Cove at Twin Lakes will open on Saturday, June 2.
Columbia Public Pool Hours:
Albert-Oakland Family Aquatic Center-12 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Lake of the Woods-1 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 12 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Douglass Family Aquatic Center- 1 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 12 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Little Mates Cove at Twin Lakes-11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 12 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.