PAXTON — The city's outdoor swimming pool is opening at noon Saturday — for the first time in nearly two years — and will be allowing free swimming for everyone through the weekend.
The pool was filled with water this week and was allowed to open following an inspection Friday by the state health department, which approved the pool's pH and chlorine levels and flow rate, according to Neal McKenry, recreation director for the Paxton Park District.
As a way to promote the pool's long-awaited opening, the pool will be open for free swimming both Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 6 p.m., McKenry said.
"Then we'll start getting into our normal schedule on Monday," McKenry said. "All of our pricing and program information will be available over the weekend and on our website by (Saturday), as well."
The outdoor pool, located at Coady Park on the city's east edge, will be open for open swim from 1 to 5 p.m. every day of the week through the summer, McKenry said, noting other activities and programs will be held before and after open swim each day. Daily admission costs $3.50, and season passes will also be available for purchase.
The pool was closed all of last summer — for the first time in its 46-year existence — because of its lack of compliance with regulations applying to public pools' main drains.
The park district then worked for several months to prepare modifications to its main drain to comply with the new regulations, which are mandated by the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
However, a delayed permitting process by the state health department, compounded by delays in receiving the necessary parts, pushed back the completion of the modifications to the drain until this week.