Duncan pool potentially facing changes before opening in May - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Duncan pool potentially facing changes before opening in May

(Site: KSWO) (Site: KSWO)

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) - The City of Duncan hopes they have solved the problem of not  having enough lifeguards throughout the summer to keep the city pool open.

Last week, the City Council approved an agreement for the Simmons Center to take over the daily operations and use their lifeguard staff to fill the gaps.

The idea to have the Simmons Center running the daily operations came from Executive Director Rex Outhier. 

He had a similar plan in place when he was working in another city and thought it could work here too.

Finding enough lifeguards is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to operating the pool at Fuqua Park.  

The Executive Director of the Simmons Center said since they already have a good core group of lifeguards for their indoor pool, it shouldn't be a problem to put some of them to work at the city pool when they're needed.

Outhier believes it could help the city save money by not having unnecessary lifeguards on duty. For example, on rainy days, or simply when very few kids show up to swim.

"In essence, a lot of the time the city will just employ several lifeguards and maybe have them here all the time," Outhier said. "On slow days they may have more employees here. We'll send them home to keep the ratios about right."

He said that, rather than sending them home they could also go work at the Simmons Center's pool.

The money will go to the center and after the lifeguards are paid and a management fee is taken out the city will get the remaining money made at the pool.

Outhier hopes that by managing the Fuqua pool he won't be competing with the city for lifeguards.

"We always need lifeguards," Outhier said. "It gives us the opportunity to hire more, get them under our payroll, get those names that we call, and keep them employed."

By maintaining an adequate number of lifeguards, it will make it easier to have a consistent schedule for the pool's operating hours.

"It's a long hard summer is what it is but it's enjoyable," he said. "The kids love swimming so we want to be able to provide that for them."

The fees to swim at Fuqua Park are still going to be set by the city, and they will also be responsible taking care of any major maintenance or repair projects. 

Outhier said with this change they're not planning to change the pool's regular operating hours, and they will still offer swimming lessons and other activities that the city has offered in the past.

The pool is scheduled to open May 27th.

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