Courtesy Weston Aquatic Center
The Weston Aquatic Center opened last month, and so far it has been going smoothly.
Weston Aquatic Center, one of the only pools in the area to open in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, has so far been running smoothly officials say.
Weston’s pool opened June 29 after Weston’s board voted to open the pool in reservable blocks and limited the number of patrons to a fraction of the pool’s capacity. The blocks are three hours, but about two hours and 15 minutes of that are actual swim time, says YMCA Associate Director of Aquatic Services Abby Tesch. The rest is set aside for time to get families out of the pool and to sanitize everything.
Pools became a controversial topic in the Wausau area and elsewhere as concerns about the coronavirus pandemic ultimately led many to keep pools closed. Wausau debated on no less than three occasions about keeping its pools closed but ultimately yielded to Marathon County Health Department recommendations to stay closed.
Initial concern was that the pool would become overcrowded from out of town visitors, since so many other pools including Wausau’s and Rothschild/Schofield’s remained closed. That hasn’t happened, Tesch says. The 860-person capacity center now has a limit of 200 people, and the crowds haven’t reached that. Typical crowds in each block of time have ranged from 50-100, and the record has been 180.
Some folks from out of town have reserved spots, Tesch says, but most swimmers have been from the metro area, and now instead of dropping off kids at the pool, families have been staying and using the pool together. Pool staff has even been able to open up pool slides with precautions taken, Tesch says.
The pool will remain open until sometime in August, Tesch says; an exact date hasn’t been determined.