Hot weather brings crowds to community pool
by Marc Aceves | Patterson Irrigator
Jun 13, 2013 | 1228 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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 Zack Whitney, a senior lifeguard.

In fact, dozens of people waited in line outside the community swimming pool as temperatures rose as high as 107 degrees Saturday, June 8.

“I’ve worked here for five years, and I’ve only seen the pool reach maximum capacity three times,” Whitney said. “We reached maximum capacity here Saturday (June 8) and Sunday (June 9). The lifeguards did a great job of staying focused and effectively did what they were asked.”

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

“We had seven lifeguards working Saturday, six on deck, and one on break. We rotate the guards out every 15 minutes,” Whitney said. “We figured there would be an increase in attendance, with people coming to the pool to escape the heat.”

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

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

For many pool-goers, the community atmosphere of the pool is what draws them there each summer.

Kim Wallace said lifeguards are good about watching out for the teens and young children, who usually come to the pool in groups with their parents.

“They seem to knows what to do around the water to keep everyone safe,” she said, adding that her family will likely be spending many days at the pool until the fall.

Even though Maria Cortez’s family has their own aboveground pool, she said every now and then she brings the kids out to Patterson Aquatic Center for the diving boards.

“I feel comfortable because it’s a community pool,” she said, adding that on the way in Saturday morning, she ran into at least five people she knew.

Cortez 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,” Cortez 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 eighth season and has a full schedule.

“We see a lot of families, many with small children, who don’t have pools coming here because the water is always nice,” Whitney said. “Families are always looking for safe, affordable fun, and our facility offers that.”

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 aquatic center and the activities have been well received by the community,” Whitney 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, Whitney added.

Patterson Aquatic Center offers swimming lessons for all age groups.

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.

Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or marc@pattersonirrigator.com.

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