A petition that called for earlier pool opening times during the summer caught the attention of the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) this week. DPR is holding internal meetings and having preliminary conversations about what it would take to meet the demands of a recent online petition
"People are definitely taking it seriously and seeing if it can be done," John Stokes, a spokesman for DPR, told Patch.
Capitol Hill resident Lyndsey Medsker started the petition, which calls for outdoor pools accomodate older residents and residents with young children by opening at 10 a.m.—two hours earlier than most normally do. As of 1 p.m. Tuesday the petition had 375 supporters, by Thursday evening that number had nearly doubled.
Chief of Staff for DC Councilman Tommy Wells, Charles Allen, told Patch that their office had received hundreds of phone calls and emails about opening the pools earlier.
Francis, Volta and Jelleff, the three pools nearest Georgetown all opened at noon most days last summer.
Stokes called DPR's internal deliberations "preliminary" and said they are trying to deterime what factors need to be in place to make earlier hours possible and how changes might impact current operations.
Among other issues they have identified so far are staffing enough lifeguardings, securing enough funding and balancing the demands for pool time from other groups, like summer camps.
"It’s not a one day or two day decision type of thing," said Stokes. "We are going to try to be very meticulous and thoughtful."
Stokes does hope his agency will be able to comeup with an answer in the next few weeks that it can then take to the Mayor and the District Council for review and input.
- Earlier Summer Pool Hours Sought in Online Petition