SPRINGFIELD, MO — With the recent addition of 11 new lifeguard hires, and another 11 in the hiring process, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board opens Grant Beach and Silver Springs outdoor pools the week of June 14. Fassnight and McGee-McGregor outdoor pools are already open for the summer season. Combined, one or two outdoor pools are now open every day of the week, plus indoor pools are open daily.
Grant Beach Pool, 1401 N. Grant Ave., opens Monday, June 14, and operates two days a week, Monday and Thursday, 1-6:30 p.m. Grant Beach is also open for private rentals.
Silver Springs Pool, 1100 N. Hampton Ave., opens Tuesday, June 15, and operates three days a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 1-6:30 p.m. Silver Springs is also open for private rentals.
Fassnight Pool, 1300 S. Campbell Ave., is open daily except Monday and Thursday, 1-6:30 p.m.
McGee-McGregor Wading Pool, 1200 E. Bennett St, is open three days a week, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3-6 p.m. This pool is for kids age 6 and under with an adult only. Admission to this pool is free.
These four outdoor pools now follow a regular weekly schedule through August. Outdoor pool admission is $4/adults, $3/youth and seniors. Enjoy discount Splash & Sizzle admission daily 5:30-6:30 p.m., for $1/swimmer or free with a canned food donation, benefiting Ozarks Food Harvest.
Indoor pools at Chesterfield and Doling Family Centers are also open seven days a week, with outdoor admission rates offered Monday-Friday, 1-8 p.m. Regular indoor pool admission is in place Saturday and Sunday, $6/kids and seniors, $8/adults.
View the complete summer pool schedule at ParkBoard.org/Aquatics.
Meador and Westport outdoor pools will not open for the 2021 season.
In Springfield, the biggest challenge facing public swimming pools this summer is a lifeguard shortage, affecting pools nationwide as well as locally.
“We’re still recovering from lost Parks revenue related to the pandemic, which contributed to our staff and board making the difficult decision to not open Meador and Westport this summer,” Director of Parks Bob Belote explained at the beginning of pool season. “But even if new funding became available today, we still wouldn’t be able to open all our pools, because, despite heavy recruiting efforts, we have not been able to hire enough trained lifeguards to open and operate every location safely.”
Locally, the shortage of lifeguards has several contributing factors, including:
- Fewer lifeguards trained or worked Summer 2020, when many outdoor pools were closed, so there are fewer experienced applicants returning to the job this summer.
- Fewer than normal potential applicants took part in training sessions this winter and spring.
- An overall labor shortage gives wider employment options to younger workers.
A normal summer, with all outdoor pools opened 6 days a week and indoor pools open daily, requires at least 125 lifeguards. Within the next week, the Park Board should have about 75 lifeguards on staff.
To bolster lifeguard numbers, the Park Board is offering new incentives, including:
- Increasing starting lifeguard pay to $12/hour, with leadership positions earning up to $16/hour.
- Offering a one-time discount American Red Cross Lifeguard training and certification, for qualified applicants who commit to work for the Park Board this summer.
- Adding a daily meal voucher at pool concessions for lifeguards to use during breaks.
Interested in becoming a lifeguard for the Park Board? Apply at ParkBoard.org/Jobs. Applicants must be 15 or older, pass a swimming test and complete lifeguard training and certification. Applicants will be contacted with details.
For schedules, pool descriptions, pool rules and more, visit ParkBoard.org/Aquatics.
For weather cancellations, call the Aquatics Hotline at 417-864-2099.
For media inquiries, contact Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-224-5510. (For safety and security, members of the media are not allowed in the gate of any swimming pool without clearance through Parks Administration. Please make arrangements before arriving at any public pool.)