Pool’s cool waters help locals beat heat
by Marc Aceves | Patterson Irrigator
Jun 22, 2012 | 1448 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Damian Hernandez plugs his nose as he splashes around at the Patterson
 Public Pool during the height of the heat wave on Saturday, June 16, 2012. Long lines resulted in long waits and hot tempers as temperatures peaked at 106 ¡ locally over the weekend.
Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
Damian Hernandez plugs his nose as he splashes around at the Patterson Public Pool during the height of the heat wave on Saturday, June 16, 2012. Long lines resulted in long waits and hot tempers as temperatures peaked at 106 ¡ locally over the weekend. Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
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Sandra Blancas jumps around in the cool water of the Patterson pool as scorching temperatures outside draw a big crowd on Saturday, June 16, 2012.
Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
Sandra Blancas jumps around in the cool water of the Patterson pool as scorching temperatures outside draw a big crowd on Saturday, June 16, 2012. Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
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Photos by Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
Photos by Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
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Hopes for a relatively cool summer, buoyed by a mild spring, dissolved as the region was hit with triple-digit heat over the weekend.

As temperatures climbed, the pool at Patterson Aquatic Center provided a reprieve for many local residents and families, said Andie Coble, the swimming pool manager.

“We were busy all weekend, but it’s nothing that we couldn’t handle,” Coble said. “We figured there would be an increase in attendance, with people coming to the pool to escape the heat.”

In fact, dozens of people were turned away or waited in line outside the community swimming pool as temperatures rose as high as 105 degrees Saturday, June 16.

No more than 244 people can be at the aquatic center at one time. Coble said they had to be careful not to exceed that capacity for safety reasons.

Melissa Gomez said her family was lucky enough to make it inside Sunday, June 17. But that wasn’t the case the day before.

“We came here (Saturday) and we couldn’t get in,” Gomez said. “There was a big long line, and they said they were at maximum capacity and there would be a waiting period, so we just decided to leave.”

Gomez said she and her family tried to arrive before the pool opened to get ahead of the crowd and avoid lines.

“It was so hot, and you know, when the kids are really hot and they’re cranky, they don’t like the wait,” Gomez said.

Coble suggested calling ahead to ensure the pool wasn’t full.

California law requires the recreation department keep the number of visitors within the center’s capacity at all times so lifeguards can monitor swimmers and prevent accidents, Coble said.

“It’s a nice time of year, and I’m able to see people enjoying the water as much as I do,” she said.

Gomez said that as long as the weather stays hot, the local pool, with its diving boards and splash fountains, would be the place to be.

“With it being $3 to get in, you can’t beat that, so we plan on being here often,” Gomez said.

Staying cool at the pool

Patterson Aquatic Center is ready for summer with a variety of aquatic activities and classes.

The center is entering its seventh season and has a full schedule.

“With the temperature rising, people are going to want to cool down,” said John Skobielew, a senior lifeguard at the center. “Families are always looking for safe, affordable fun, and our facility offers that.”

Zack Whitney, another senior lifeguard, agreed.

“It’s a nice, simple, safe way for parents to have fun with their children,” he said.

General admission is $3 per person, while seniors only pay $2, and multiple-visit passes are offered at discounted rates.

The center offers open swimming for people of all ages from noon to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“(The PAC) and the activities have been well received by the community,” Coble said. “And as it gets hotter, the pool will definitely be in high demand.”

Learning to swim is a vital skill for both children and adults, not only for safety reasons, but also so they can take full advantage of summer swim opportunities, Coble added.

Patterson Aquatic Center offers swimming lessons for all age groups.

“I enjoy instructing the swimming lessons,” Coble said. “It’s neat to see people move through the different swim levels.”

For adults who prefer to have the pool to themselves, the center also offers an adults-only swim time. The center also offers a pair of water aerobics classes, including one just for seniors.

For information: Patterson Aquatic Center, 895-8188.

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