May 23rd , 2013 10:00 am Leave a comment

Crowds expected to make a splash at county’s public pools

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Photo by Brandon Hicks

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Jarread Whitehead skims leaves and twigs form the Franklin Pool to prepare for the opening weekend.

When the weather warms up, there’s nothing like a refreshing dip in a cool swimming pool.

Carter County’s two public swimming pools — the Franklin Pool in Elizabethton and the Roan Mountain State Park Pool in Roan Mountain — will open for residents to take refuge from the heat at 10 a.m. Saturday for the summer season.

The Franklin Pool, near Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park, is a target destination for families, teenagers, school and day groups or those just wanting to cool off and enjoy a day of relaxation.

Franklin Pool Manager David Nanney said the pool has consistently been busy over the past few years and attendance has remained steady. The pool frequently sees visits from day groups from local school systems and summer activity groups as well as walk-in business.

“Some of the larger groups can have as many as 150 to 200 kids come in with them,” he said. “We never know what kind of crowd we will have from day to day. We try to make sure we know when the larger groups are coming.”

The Franklin Pool is Olympic-sized with two diving boards and a detached baby pool. This year, the pool added a wheelchair transfer station to allow visitors with disabilities easier access to the pool. The pool has had a mechanical lift, but the transfer station is permanent and easier to access.

Photo by Brandon Hicks

Photo by Brandon Hicks
From left, Kayla Carrier and Dakota Reynolds paint the lifeguard stand while Chelsie Bare hands Jessy Burleson the lifeguard’s seat at Franklin Pool.

The Roan Mountain State Park pool, inside the state park, draws a large number of local visitors as well as campers from the park’s on-site campground, which is frequently filled to capacity.

The Roan Mountain pool is another option for people looking to beat the heat this summer. The Olympic-sized pool has an attached baby pool, a small slide and two diving boards.

Interim Park Manager Jacob Young said the pool stays busy during the summer and sees more business on the weekends than during the week.

“If the weather is good, we are slammed on the weekends,” Young said. “If it is a pretty day and school is out, the pool can average 250 to 300 people. It is slower on Wednesday and Thursday than the weekend so if you are looking for a more relaxing trip to the pool, those are the days to come.”

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