(WSYR-TV) — Syracuse swimmers can get ready to dive into city pools beginning June 18, and for the first time since before the pandemic, advanced registration is not required. 

Five outdoor pools will open during the next two months. Thornden Park is set to open on June 18, with Onondaga Park and Schiller Park pools opening June 19, Kirk Park pool June 25, and Burnet Park opening in July. 

The pool at Burnet Park has been closed for the last two years undergoing a $1.3 million renovation of the pool foundation and deteriorating walls. Burnet Park, along with the Thorden Park pool, switched to a saltwater system from the traditional chlorinated water, courtesy of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. The conversion is in an effort to eliminate the risk of handling, transporting, and storing large amounts of chlorine. The city says the switch also has a benefit to swimmers’ skin, eyes, and hair. 

The pools will operate Monday to Saturday, from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sundays, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. However, between Monday, June 20 and Friday, June 24, Onondaga, Schiller and Thornden pools will operate from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. during the week as the Syracuse City School District school year comes to a close.   

Children under the minimum height requirement must be with a parent or responsible adult over 18 years old. A maximum of three children per adult are allowed. The accompanying adult must be in the water within an arms-reach of children at all times, even when a child is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device. 

One obstacle, not only for Syracuse pools, but others around the country, is the shortage of lifeguards. As a result, the outdoor pools at Lincoln, McKinley and Wilson parks, along with the indoor pools at Valley and the Southwest Community Center, are closed. The lack of lifeguards has also forced the cancellation of swimming lessons, water exercise classes and swim teams. 

The city has tried to combat the shortage with job fairs and is still looking for lifeguards. If interested in becoming a lifeguard, the City of Syracuse School District is offering a lifeguarding class at Nottingham High School, June 13–17, from 4:00–8:00 p.m. The cost is $41. Participants must be 15 years of age by the last class and pass a pre-test. Candidates can sign up for the class by completing the form at bit.ly/3wXXgJ8

Lap swim will be available at Thornden Park Pool, beginning Monday, June 27. Hours will be Monday–Friday, 6:30–9:30 a.m. Lap swim admission is $3 for adults ages 16–64 and free for 65 and older. Onsite payments will be cash only. Ticket booklets can be purchased at the Parks’ main office, located at 412 Spencer Street, Syracuse 13204. Booklet fees are $55 for 20 tickets or $125 for 50 tickets. 

For more information, email blopes@syrgov.net or tmontressor@syrgov.net or call the City of Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs at (315) 473-4330.