MERIDEN — After tossing his giggling granddaughter around in the water on Sunday afternoon, Meriden resident John Amenta said visiting Hubbard Park Pool was “ideal.”
“This is a perfect place. I’m surprised there’s not more people here,” Amenta said.
It was the first weekend the pool was open this summer due to pandemic restrictions.
The swimming lessons Amenta’s granddaughter, Ava Amenta, 5, was taking were cut short by the virus earlier this year and activities for children have remained sparse, he said. With temperatures over the long holiday weekend pushing into the 90s, the family opted for a swim.
Town-run pools in Southington opened on June 27 and Cheshire recreation staff said they intend to open Cheshire Community Pool later this summer. Wallingford’s Community Pool will not open this summer.
Lifeguard Giana Pedevillano said it’s been a slow start for the Hubbard Park pool, with only 17 swimmers using the pool on July 4 and only a handful of regulars visiting weekdays since it opened Wednesday. The pool is open from 1 to 5:30 p.m.
“It’s definitely been slower than past years,” she said.
The pool deck has been sectioned into squares where families can place their belongings and congregate along the water, in an effort to limit interactions between groups as much as possible. Once in the water, swimmers can use the full area of the pool.
Additional Parks and Recreation staff are on hand to keep track of the number of guests checking in to use the pool, which is limited to half capacity. Staff is also taking temperatures before swimmers are allowed in the water and sanitizing ladders and changing areas every hour.
Swimmers are being asked to arrive in bathing suits to reduce use of the changing rooms, which are only open to allow access to bathrooms.
It’s yet to be determined if swim lessons will be held later in summer.
“This is a clean, safe activity to get people out of the house and enjoy some family time,” Pedevillano said.