The Hilliard Family Aquatic Center and Hilliard East Municipal Pool will open for the season Saturday, May 27.
In previous seasons, the pools have opened for Memorial Day weekend but then closed again until early June, but because May 26 is the last day in session for Hilliard City Schools, that won't happen this year.
"We will be ready to go," said Steve Mazer, director of the Hilliard Recreation and Parks Department.
Patrons at the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center, 3850 Veterans Memorial Drive, will notice a few changes: New diving boards were installed and one of the pool's two large water slides was resurfaced and repainted.
The two diving boards cost $29,000, which covers concrete bases, platforms, railing and support structures. The new ones should be less susceptible to freeze and thaw cycles, said Heather Ernst, deputy director of the recreation and parks department.
Meanwhile, the 10-year-old winding red slide used for inner tubes had turned pink after a decade of exposure to the sun, Ernst said.
In a process that took a team of workers several weeks, the slide was sanded, caulked and repainted in Hilliard colors, she said. The $48,000 in slide repairs included a few tweaks to the children's interactive pool , she said.
The steeper, yellow-body slide will be repainted blue on the outside and white on the inside next year, Ernst said.
Thirty first-year lifeguards also have completed testing and certification through the American Red Cross in preparation for the pool season.
They included Joey Hartman, 15, a freshman at Hilliard Bradley High School, and Tyler Hessenauer, 15, a freshman at Hilliard Darby High School.
Both students said they participate in track and cross country.
"A lot of my friends are lifeguards, including some of the ones I run with, and I thought it sounded like something fun to do," Hessenauer said.
In all, about 165 lifeguards are needed to staff both pools, said Anastasia Bradley, aquatics supervisor at both pools.
"Our lifeguards are required to complete a blended-learning course," Bradley said.
Lifeguards complete online training and exercises that include simulated rescues.
Other requirements including swimming 12 laps in a minimum amount of time and treading water for two minutes without the use of hands.
In can be done, Bradley said, using only your feet.
Hours and admission
The Hilliard Family Aquatic Center will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from noon to 7 p.m. Sundays. Daily admission is $8 for children ages 3 to 9 and $10 for children 10 and over and adults.
The Hilliard East Municipal Pool is open from noon to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from noon to 7 p.m. Sundays. Daily admission is $6 for children ages 3 to 9 and $8 for children 10 and over and adults.
Memberships also are available, but fees vary depending on residency and family size. For details, visit hilliardohio.gov.
By the middle of May, the city had sold memberships in the amount of $359,510, Ernst said.