The sounds of summer fun could come to an abrupt halt if the Northland Swim Club Community Pool doesn't hire more certified lifeguards by early August.
Now operating with a skeleton crew, the swim club could close well before Tuesday, Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day, when most outdoor public pools close.
"We've got just enough" lifeguards at the moment, said Bill Logan, who's a volunteer with the pool's management team. "Our first goal is to get guards to fill this season."
Northland Swim Club, nestled in the Woodward Park subdivision, is on 3.5 acres at 5006 Almont Drive.
It has an Olympic-sized pool, diving boards, slides and a kiddie pool in a nearby area. Several swim teams use the facility, Logan said.
The nonprofit pool, which is not part of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, operates off admission fees – $5 for a member or $10 for the general public – has five lifeguards, which is the minimum with which it can legally operate, said Logan, also vice chairman of the Northland Community Council development committee.
The best-case scenario is to have nine lifeguards, he said.
Admission fees raise about $70,000 a year – basically a break-even point for pool operations, Logan said.
"We get just enough," he said.
Lifeguard Andrea Coffey is concerned about the pool's future when she returns to Miami University for her senior year Aug. 19.
"I think we're all worried because we care about our pool."
Lifeguards are paid $7 to $10 an hour, depending on their duties, Logan said. The remaining members of the crew said they're not in it for the money but the duties are pushing them to the limits.
"I think it's just stressful because we're working every day," said Katie Sargent, who is sticking around until the end of the season, after which she will begin her freshman year at Columbus State Community College.
Those looking for a lifeguard opportunity can call 614-888-0754 from noon to 7 p.m.