Dorothy Dinwiddie

Dorothy Dinwiddie has been manager of the Le Center Public Pool for 24 years. (File photo/southernminn.com)

Well, the pool will open with a splash in 2021.

Most normal hours will resume; some class sizes and times may change due to class size. We will be re-certifying most of our guards with 10 returning, and 11 new kids with there water safety instructor certificates. We have a few seasoned lifeguards that are willing to teach private lessons, so please contact the swimming pool directly for registration for your children.

We will again offer private parties on Saturdays and Sundays anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. You will be allowed to bring in your own food and beverages, but no liquor is allowed. So call early to reserve your special day. Our normal weekend hours are 3-8 p.m. only — both days, every weekend.

The pool is never open on the Fourth of July, due to very low admissions and lack of guards. Otherwise, our normal weekday hours are 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. We will be opening a little latter this year in order to get all our staff trained in time for lessons. Please register early as times do fill up.

We have gotten the OK from the state to offer food, ice cream and even popcorn this season.

We decided not to offer pre-level lessons this season, due to large class sizes and trying to get our staff totally vaccinated in time. They will be offering them at the Montgomery pool, but parents will have to be in the water with there child. The baby pool will open again this year, but we do ask you to use your best judgment concerning your COVID risk.

Prices primarily stayed the same, except the family swim pass increased, but so did the number of children allowed on one pass — two adults (it can be grandparent or babysitter) and five children living under the same household, or $30 for every additional child.

Remember our open days are dictated by weather; Red Cross rules state 65 and sunny or 70 and cloudy at the time of opening. We close for lightening or suspected severe weather in the area; please have emergency contact numbers listed on your pass, so children can be picked up. Lifeguards are not legally able to drive children home but will remain at the park until all children are picked up.

There is a nationwide shortage this year for qualified lifeguards and teachers, along with our own older staff leaving for internships and future jobs. We encourage any 15 or older student with good swimming skills to sign up for a class, we will be having one middle to late June in Le Center. It offers good flexible hours, good pay and room for advancement. We have had several multiple family members over the years work at our pool. The city will pay for re-certifications and your WSI class as long as you’re a full time employee, It is a rewarding fulfilling job with many gaining knowledge of early childhood development and going on to degrees in teaching, social work, coaching and health professions.

Learning to swim shouldn’t be a privilege, but a necessity. There is currently a bill being considered that every child should have basic level 3 swimming skills to graduate high school. With all the new home-owned swimming pools popping up , please remember to get your children into a local class contracted with the American Red Cross.

We welcome all our little swimmers back, but just remember it may have been a couple summers since the last time they’ve seen the water!

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