With warmer temps right around the corner, many are hoping for some semblance of summer by taking a trip to the local public pool or splash park.
In Grand Forks, the Elks Pool, 1002 13th Ave. S., is scheduled to open June 8, according to Grand Forks Park District officials.
At the large community pool, which features two water slides, increased sanitation protocols have been implemented, said Jill Nelson, community relations and marketing manager.
Deck furniture will be arranged to conform with social-distancing guidelines, Nelson said.
Shower facilities will not be available, and clothing bags will not be provided -- patrons are encouraged to bring their own. They should also bring life jackets, though a limited number will be available. Concessions and pool rentals will not be available.
Pool hours are Monday-Friday, noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Flotation devices can be used 5 to 8 p.m.
Lap swimming hours are June 8 to Aug. 2, Monday and Wednesday, 7 to 8 p.m. and Aug. 3-16, Monday and Wednesday, 6 to 7 p.m.
The opening date for the Riverside Pool, located in Riverside Park on the city’s northeast side, is not yet determined, Nelson said, noting that park district employees are working on some construction projects there and no decision-date has been set.
It is known that the toddler pool will be closed, and the same COVID-19 policies implemented at the Elks Pool will be followed, she said.
Pool hours would be the same as for the Elks Pool; however, lap swimming is not available.
Because of the increased sanitation protocols, construction and staff limitations, dates and hours for the pools may be subject to change.
For more information, visit the Grand Forks Parks District website, www.gfparks.org.
East Grand Forks Pool
In East Grand Forks, the opening date -- if the city is allowed to open the pool -- is uncertain. Preparations are underway if Gov. Tim Walz permits public pools to operate.
“If we get the green light to open by Gov. Tim Walz, we could be open by June 15,” said Mayor Steve Gander. “We’re going through the steps of reopening the pool. If we’re allowed to reopen, we’ll practice social distancing on the deck and in the pool -- we’ll follow (guidelines) to a ‘T.’
“Anything that gets us back to something that looks like normal is good,” he said.
Phase Two of Minnesota’s reopening plan starts Monday, but, during this phase, pools are not allowed to open, said Reid Huttunen, superintendent of East Grand Forks Parks and Recreation.
“Under Phase Three, there’s the potential for pools to be open with limited capacity,” Huttunen said. “We haven’t been given a timeline as to when we’ll hear.”
Huttunen expects the directive to come from the governor through the state health department.
If the pool is reopened, social-distancing guidelines will be followed, and capacity will be limited to about 150 people, including about 20 employees, Huttunen said.
The pool is located at 919 Fifth Ave. N.W.
“We’re cleaning the pool right now. Getting the pool ready is important regardless of if we open or not,” said Huttunen, noting that equipment, such as gaskets and pumps, need to be operated to stay in good working condition.
People are eager to get out and enjoy the pool, he said. As they work on the pool, his employees are getting questions from passersby about its reopening.