ROCHESTER - After coping with limited availability at the city's three public pools last summer due to strict COVID-19 protocols, Rochester Rec officials have pivoted to a more relaxed program that allows up to 30 swimmers to enjoy a leisurely poolside experience with minimal hassle.
"Last year we only allowed a family swim with just eight immediate family members able to use a pool at any one time," Assistant Director of Rochester Rec and Arena Lauren Krans said on Monday. "We decided this year to do something different where up to 30 can sign up."
The program is called Community Swim and works like this.
Any Rochester residents can sign up for a 45-minute block at any pool, with new schedules released on every Monday for the next week on the department's website at rochesterrec.com.
To sign up for a block, residents just have to go to the department's SignUpGenius page and sign up as many as they want up to 30.
Once the block is filled the capacity is maxed out, but checking today, we found that there are still plenty of slots open at all three pools, which are located on Green Street in East Rochester, adjacent to the Gonic School in Gonic and at Hanson Pines next to Spaulding High.
Anyone can go online and see how many people are signed up for a particular block, Krans noted.
"If there aren't that many signed up, folks can just go down to the pool, and go for a swim if the 30-person maximum isn't reached," she added. "They don't have to sign up."
There is no admittance fee to swim at Rochester's pools, and while you have to be a Rochester resident to register for a spot online, anyone can show up and - even if you're not from Rochester - enjoy the pools for free if the 30-person capacity isn't in play.
"This 30-person capacity is a hybrid," Krans said. "People like it when there's not too many people in the pool."
She said rec officials will be watching the demand and tweaking the program
if necessary through the summer.
Another new wrinkle in the swim program is the moving of the 50+ Senior Swim to the Gonic Pool at 5 Railroad Ave., where both residents and nonresidents are welcome to swim from 12:45-1:45 p.m. Today, only 5 of 30 slots were filled at the time of this article's posting.
The Gonic Pool also offer a seniors aquatic Zumba class during Thursday's senior swim.
All participants in Community Swim and Senior Swim are asked to review COVID facility guidelines and follow all pool rules.
All the pools will be open through Aug. 20.
To sign up on SignUpGenius ro reserve a space, click here.
To sign up for Senior Swim click here.
For more info and help call the Rec Office at 603.332.4120.