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Alexandria swimming pools operating with reduced hours, residents signing waitlists with capacity overload

Alexandria’s public swimming pools are open, but residents will need to arrive early if they want a chance to cool off.

City pools close at 3:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday — as opposed to 7 p.m. in previous years — and on a recent hot weekend residents were kept out and asked to sign waitlists due to capacity issues.

“It has not been uncommon in normal operating years and with staff levels, that on the hottest days in the summer, occasionally the pools would reach capacity and patrons could not enter,” said Andrea Blackford, a senior communications specialist with the city.

Warwick Pool (3301 Landover Street) is open for lap swimming and open swimming every Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7:45 p.m., but closes at 4:45 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Old Town Pool (1609 Cameron Street) is open Monday to Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7:45 p.m., closes at 5:45 p.m. on Friday and at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

“City pool hours for summer 2021 are challenging for several reasons,” Blackford said. “First, the number of individuals that may be within the pool area are determined by the pool’s occupancy load and the number of staff needed to safely monitor aquatic activities.

Blackford continued, “Second, due to the closure of Chinquapin for planned maintenance this summer and the relocation of learn-to-swim programming, camps and other community programs, and the region-wide shortage of available lifeguards, the City has had to adjust normal open swim operating hours. Third, because of the lifeguard shortage, the centers cannot be extended for longer hours in the day. The City is actively recruiting lifeguards, and schedules will be adjusted if possible.”

Via Brian Matangelo/Unsplash

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