Pool's out for the winter

Craig city pools wraps up 'the best season ever' as kids head back to school

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The Craig city pool has been setting attendance records all summer, but closing down the facility for the winter won't spell relief for the busy pool workers.

They're off to school or working at Craig's indoor pools.

Aquatics manager Sylvia Griffiths said the reason behind the record numbers in attendance and revenue, is a combination of really warm days and fewer rain and lightning closures than usual.

"June and July were the biggest months the pool has seen," Griffiths said. "We're looking at the best season ever."

Part of the increase in revenue numbers might be due to an increase in admission fees in 2006, but record temperatures in Colorado likely played a factor.

Aug. 25 was the last day that the city pool complex was open to the public. School swimming classes for grades 5 through 8 will continue at the complex until Friday, after which the pool will close for the winter.

Much of the success of the pool complex this summer lies squarely on the sun-tanned shoulders of the 34 lifeguards who kept things operating smoothly.

"Ten of the guards have gone off to college," Griffiths said. "I have two guards with seven years of experience, and a number with five and six years."

Nine of the guards were new to the pool this summer. Each was required to be certified by the American Red Cross before working at the complex.

Also new this season were volleyball nets and a football-throwing game. Both received quite a bit of use this summer, Griffiths said.

She said the facility hosted two big swim meets, which ran smoothly thanks to the Sea-Sharks swim team.

Preparing for winter at the pool complex consists mostly of covering the lap-pool to keep out debris.

Swimming will continue through the cold winter months with water-aerobics and swimnastics programs at the American Legion pool, and evening water-aerobics, lifeguard training, and adult swimming at the high school's pool.

For Griffiths, the change of seasons doesn't mean a slowing down of the work schedule.

"I help manage the high school pool in winter," she said. "Each elementary school will have 6-week-long lesson programs at the high school this winter."

Griffiths must also keep current with training procedures and changes in requirements.

By next summer, there will be changes in the way lifeguards are trained, when the American Red Cross and the YMCA join to standardize procedures nationwide.

The Red Cross is also joining with the American Heart Association to standardize some aspects of CPR training.

It's training for emergencies that make the team of lifeguards qualified for the rescues that they perform each summer. Summer 2006 had 10 rescues performed by city pool lifeguards.

"The staff works long, hot hours," Griffiths said. "This summer, we had a great group that worked really hard."BY DAN OLSEN

Daily Press writer

The Craig city pool has been setting attendance records all summer, but closing down the facility for the winter won't spell relief for the busy pool workers.

They're off to school or working at Craig's indoor pools.

Aquatics manager Sylvia Griffiths said the reason behind the record numbers in attendance and revenue, is a combination of really warm days and fewer rain and lightning closures than usual.

"June and July were the biggest months the pool has seen," Griffiths said. "We're looking at the best season ever."

Part of the increase in revenue numbers might be due to an increase in admission fees in 2006, but record temperatures in Colorado likely played a factor.

Aug. 25 was the last day that the city pool complex was open to the public. School swimming classes for grades 5 through 8 will continue at the complex until Friday, after which the pool will close for the winter.

Much of the success of the pool complex this summer lies squarely on the sun-tanned shoulders of the 34 lifeguards who kept things operating smoothly.

"Ten of the guards have gone off to college," Griffiths said. "I have two guards with seven years of experience, and a number with five and six years."

Nine of the guards were new to the pool this summer. Each was required to be certified by the American Red Cross before working at the complex.

Also new this season were volleyball nets and a football-throwing game. Both received quite a bit of use this summer, Griffiths said.

She said the facility hosted two big swim meets, which ran smoothly thanks to the Sea-Sharks swim team.

Preparing for winter at the pool complex consists mostly of covering the lap-pool to keep out debris.

Swimming will continue through the cold winter months with water-aerobics and swimnastics programs at the American Legion pool, and evening water-aerobics, lifeguard training, and adult swimming at the high school's pool.

For Griffiths, the change of seasons doesn't mean a slowing down of the work schedule.

"I help manage the high school pool in winter," she said. "Each elementary school will have 6-week-long lesson programs at the high school this winter."

Griffiths must also keep current with training procedures and changes in requirements.

By next summer, there will be changes in the way lifeguards are trained, when the American Red Cross and the YMCA join to standardize procedures nationwide.

The Red Cross is also joining with the American Heart Association to standardize some aspects of CPR training.

It's training for emergencies that make the team of lifeguards qualified for the rescues that they perform each summer. Summer 2006 had 10 rescues performed by city pool lifeguards.

"The staff works long, hot hours," Griffiths said. "This summer, we had a great group that worked really hard."

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