- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 27, 2004

The region’s public pools will open as scheduled this weekend, a relief for many residents already overheated by this spring’s above-normal temperatures.

Three of the District’s 19 pools will open at 1 p.m. today — including the newly renovated Georgetown pool on Viola Place NW that was closed for renovations all of last summer.

The three pools will open only on weekends until the season officially begins June 23. The two other D.C. pools opening this weekend are the Anacostia pool on Anacostia Drive SE and the Francis pool on N Street NW in Dupont Circle.

The other 16 pools will also have weekend hours beginning June 7. Five of the pools charge a fee — $3 for adults and $1 for children.

“There is a lot of excitement and anticipation,” said Terry Lee, a spokesman for the city’s parks and recreation department. “It always rains on Memorial Day weekend, but this time it’s supposed to be good, hot weather.”

May has felt more like August this year.

With the average temperature 72 degrees, this is the second-warmest May in Washington on record, according to the National Weather Service.

However, the agency does not expect a new record because cooler temperatures are expected for the remainder of the month. And a cool front should keep this weekend’s daytime temperatures in the mid 70s.

Mr. Lee said the city has enough lifeguards because of an ambitious recruiting program this spring that included job fairs on college campuses and no budget concerns.

“Mayor [Anthony A.] Williams has been good to this agency,” he said. “He sees that we have the necessary resources.”

Montgomery County will open its seven outdoor pools Saturday. The pools will be open seven days a week beginning June 14. The cost for county residents is $4 for children and teens and $5.50 for adults.

County officials said they are adequately staffed and fortunate to have indoors pools in which they can train staffers during the winter.

“That makes us more prepared for the summer,” said Doug Fox of the county’s aquatic program.

The six outdoor pools in Prince George’s County also will open Saturday.

“Last summer was rainy and still busy, and the weather this summer is supposed to be better, so I’m excited,” said Paul Simms, an employee at the Allentown Fitness and Splash Park in Fort Washington.

Pools in the county are run by the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission. The general cost for county residents is $4 for children and teens and $5.50 for adults.

Two of Alexandria’s five public pools — the Old Town pool on Cameron Street and Warwick pool on Landover Street — will open Saturday and stay open on weekends through June 20. The five pools will open full-time when public schools close for the year.

“I definitely am going to use the pools this summer, but only when the cicadas are gone,” said Ann Larson, 24, from Reston. “I don’t want to be swimming around with dead bugs.”

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