Worthington Pools: Swiminc gearing for Memorial Day weekend opening

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Shaun Wells with Martin Painting and Coating cleans out the drain system at Worthington Pools on April 28. Crews were sandblasting the pool and deck and later will power wash and paint. The pool will reopen over Memorial Day weekend.

Correction: A previous version of this story online said Worthington City Council awarded a $125,000 contract to Aqua Pools Construction on April 19 for resurfacing of the pools ahead of opening. This work is being conducted at the pools at the Worthington Community Center, not the pools managed by Swiminc.

After its operations were mostly shuttered for much of 2020 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Worthington Pools operator Swiminc Inc. is gearing up for a full swimming season ahead of the opening of the outdoor pools on Memorial Day weekend as it anticipates a bounce-back year. 

Swiminc, a nonprofit, kept the outdoor pools closed last season due to the pandemic but elected to reopen the indoor natatorium in August for use by area swimming teams. As a result, Swiminc experienced substantial revenue losses throughout last year and received an $85,260 grant from the city of Worthington in January to help fund its operating expenses in 2021. 

A wave of new membership to the pools since registration opened this year indicates residents are intrigued about the facilities’ reopening, according to Swiminc board president Mike Keller. Keller said membership enrollments over the first few weeks of open registration this year is outpacing those experienced during the same timeframe in 2018 and 2019. 

“The first few weeks have been really strong,” Keller said. “I think the public is excited to get back to some normalcy and have the pool open.” 

Keller said Swiminc, which touts its fiscal sustainability, should be able to regain its pre-pandemic financial footing if it can sustain its membership base throughout the season. 

“As long as we get summer membership, we’re confident we’ll be able to maintain what we’ve been doing over the previous years,” Keller said.

Though the outdoor pools will reopen this year, procedures will be different. 

Upon obtaining a membership, members will have the opportunity to sign up for one of three swimming time slots via an online registration process. Swimming sessions will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.  

Approximately 25-30 spots will be available during these sessions, with some capacity reserved for limited walk-up guests. Only members will be able to swim on weekends. 

“We will continually evaluate and recalibrate these policies as warranted to integrate some of these restrictions/policies/etc.,” Keller said. 

Standard social-distancing and mask-wearing policies will apply throughout the facility. An increased number of hand-washing and sanitizer stations will be available, as well as reduced touch points throughout the facility and hourly sanitization of high-touch surfaces, among other procedures.  

Work to open the pools is currently underway ahead of its May 28 opening. 

“We’re investing in the facility to get it ready to open. It’s been some time since we’ve been able to do that,” Swiminc general manager Lori Ave said. “They’ve sandblasted the pools, and they’re sealing them and painting them.” 

Ave said on April 27 that crews were near completion on the sandblasting. She said Swiminc anticipates adding water to the pools by May 17. 

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve