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A.D. Clark pool in Chapel Hill to open Monday

Posted July 5, 2020 6:05 a.m. EDT

With public pools closed, swimming safety concerns grow

A.D. Clark Outdoor Pool at the Hargraves Recreation Center will open to Chapel Hill and Orange County residents on Monday, July 6, with limited capacity for lap swimming, recreation swimming and independent adult water exercise, according to a press release.

"With safety of our users and staff as our top priority, we have structured our new operations in a way that is compliant with all State (NC DHHS) and Federal (CDC) guidelines, including training staff for maintaining a healthy environment as well as ensuring adequate staff capacity," the release said. "We understand the important role recreation plays in the lives of our residents and as park and recreation professionals, it is essential we take a thoughtful and methodical approach to reinstating operations that protects public health and safety."

New safety measures include requiring swimmers to:

  • Reserve specific swim times before they arrive at the pool. Reservable swim times are available for lap swimming (one lane reservation per week), independent water exercise and recreational swimming (one reservation per week, per household of up to five persons), according to the release. Reservations can be made online, in person, or by calling (919) 968-2816 during business hours.
  • Take part in a brief health screening before they enter the pool. Staff also will go over facility procedures and expectations of guests.

Locker rooms will be available, but limited. Swimmers are encouraged to come ready to swim to avoid congregating in locker rooms. The town's What to Know Before You Go handout has more information about new procedures.

Chapel Hill has two other pools, but town officials said they'll wait to make a decision on whether they open.

"This initial opening and pilot program will only apply to A.D. Clark Pool, the release says. "The status of Homestead Aquatic Center and Chapel Hill Community Center pools will be determined later once we’ve successfully worked through implementing these new measures."

Chapel Hill isn't the only local municipality to begin opening its pools. Wake Forest's pool opened on July 1. Raleigh's public pools will also open July 6. Many local cities and towns, however, have yet to open pools or spraygrounds. More information is on our public pools database.