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Grand Rapids public pools set to re-open after the pandemic kept them closed in 2020

This year, you can expect some safety changes due to the pandemic.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It's been more than a year since Grand Rapids city pools were open last, but now it's almost time again for you to come out and make a splash.

"Staff have been working tirelessly to get the pools back up and running," says David Marquardt, director of the Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department.

And because they're so popular around town, Marquardt says people have been asking his department for weeks when they'll reopen.

"The phones have been ringing off the hook," he says.

This year, you can expect some safety changes due to the pandemic. The most noticeable is limited capacity, about half of what you'd normally see at the pools.

"The good thing is that we still have about a couple hundred swimmers that we can accommodate at each of our three pools," says Marquardt.

Also new is an app, which you can find on the city's website, that will tell you how many people are at each of the pools at any time.

"Before they pack up the kids, before they pack up your things to head to the pool, go ahead and check that status and you'll know if you've got a guaranteed spot," suggests Marquardt.

You'll also need to wear a mask inside bathrooms and locker rooms, but not outside on the pool deck. And in the middle of the day, be ready for the pool to close for an hour.

"The one hour of closure is so that staff can go ahead and clean all the high touchpoint surfaces around the pool deck and all of the surfaces within our locker room facilities," says Marquardt.

The pools at Richmond Park, Briggs Park and Martin Luther King Park will all open Friday, June 11, and stay open through the end of August. Admission for city residents is $1 for kids under 17 and $3 for adults.

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