The pool at T.C. Jester Park is not open to the public, and it might stay that way through the summer season because of a lifeguard shortage.
The City of Houston opened only 10 of its 37 public pools on June 15, including three in or near the area: Moody Park, 3201 Fulton St.; Stude Park, 1031 Stude St.; and Memorial Park, 6402 Arnot St. They are open from 1-8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Each open pool represents one of the 10 Houston City Council districts, except for the Alief area because that park’s pool is under construction.
“We took into consideration a few major factors on coming to the decision to open 10 pools,” said Louis Moore with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. “The number of lifeguards we could recruit, train and hire; the location of our largest pools; and for the equitable distribution across all 10 council districts.”
Come Saturday, Moore said the city may open more pools to the public depending on the centrality of the location, size, sufficient parking lot and potential to serve the maximum number of people.
While the pool at T.C. Jester Park meets those qualifications by the city to open, Moore said it remains closed because of a staffing shortage.
“Our biggest challenge is the extreme shortage of lifeguards, which is both a local and national problem, and time,” Moore said.
And it doesn’t look like to Moore that many more pools, if any, will open on Saturday. He said the city has a lack of applications for the many lifeguard positions that need to be filled.
“We continue to recruit but we also have to make sure that applicants are qualified to be lifeguards before they are hired for (city) pools, and that means they need to be screened and trained,” Moore said.
Local families who want to skip public pools can drive to nearby pools where memberships are required.
The Afton Village Swim Club, 1111 Afton St., offers memberships covering whole families ranging from $400-$600 for the entire summer. Learn more at aftonvillageswimclub.com. The Near Northwest Management District also hosts a pool at the White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine Dr., where memberships range from $100-$220, with additional charges for families larger than four.