BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — As students in Broken Arrow get ready to head back to the classroom on Aug. 24, pool season is also winding down.
However, there is an effort underway to keep the Nienhuis Aquatic Facility open in Broken Arrow on weekends through Labor Day.
On Tuesday, FOX23 had the chance to talk with the director of Parks and Recreation Matt Hendren about efforts to hire an additional five lifeguards in hopes of keeping the aquatic facility open to families near Nienhuis Park.
While the popular facility closed on July 31 last year, the plan was to keep it open on weekends at the end of August and over Labor Day weekend this year.
Hendren said ideally they need to hire five additional Red Cross certified lifeguards for seven remaining days to make that happen.
“We had 17, 18 guards that committed to do that,” Hendren said. “And then unfortunately due to school commitments and sports, band, just extra-curricular activities they were not able to fulfill those commitments and so that’s why we’re at ten versus 17 or 18.”
The Family Aquatic Center, which is located at 1400 South Main Street in Broken Arrow, closed for the season on Aug. 4 due to lack of available lifeguards.
FOX23 spoke with Robyn Hammond, a mother of twins who was hoping to squeeze in another weekend at that pool which can be seen from her front porch:
“We’ve been living here two years now,” Hammond said. “My children are on the spectrum and they have all embraced us there and been very kind and patient so we love going there.”
Hammond said the pool and the park is what drew her to the neighborhood when they decided to move in two years ago. She said she’ll probably drive her girls over to the Nienhuis Aquatic Facility on Labor Day weekend if the location remains open.
FOX23 did talk with one lifeguard off camera who said that with the summer staffing shortage, morale has been somewhat low, as those who have been working have been putting in some long hours.
For the remaining seven shifts the department of Parks and Recreation is trying to fill, they are offering a $500 sign-on bonus.
More information about how to apply for those positions is available here. Applications are due by Wednesday, Aug. 10.
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