IDAHO FALLS — The Wes Deist Aquatic Center in Idaho Falls is preparing to reopen after an extended closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this week, city employees finished cleaning and grouting the pool before the Idaho Falls Fire Department brought in a large hose to begin filling up the 350,000-gallon pool.
The pool will open on Monday with limited hours from noon to 7 p.m. in the beginning.
“I am excited just to see us getting back to normal. I know my staff is ecstatic to get back to what they love to do,” Parks and Recreation Director PJ Holm said.
Holm said it’s normal for the pool to close for a few days every May in order to clean, grout, and refill the pool. But closing for several months due to the pandemic was a new experience for everyone.
In order to practice safety as the pandemic continues, Holm explained some of the new added guidelines that will be put in place.
For example, locker rooms will be open for people to change clothes, but only a limited amount of lockers will be available in order to help practice social distancing. The Aquatic Center asks those who plan on visiting to come and leave in their swimwear to avoid the need for changing, and use lockers primarily for storage. Diving boards and slides will be temporarily closed.
Additionally, swim lessons will not be available with the opening on the 15th and will be scheduled at a future time. Lap swimming, swim team, fitness classes, and public swim will all be available. On Saturdays between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., the pool will only be open to seniors or those that are at high risk to catch COVID-19.
“I am so excited to see us opening.” Holm said. “Safety is going to be our number one priority. This will be a great place for people to get out of their house, … and come out and recreate a little bit and exercise.”
To get updates on the Aquatic Center, the public can sign up for the Discover Idaho Falls email newsletter here or can visit the Idaho Falls Parks and Recration website or Facebook page.