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Pool Opening Update

Dear Walton Park Community Association members and Walton Park residents:

As we noted in our communication a few weeks ago, we are below the number of normal pool memberships for the season. Here are the numbers: We are approximately 100 family memberships short of last year’s pool season. We need at least 60 additional family memberships, or a larger number of family and other types of memberships combined, to operate the pool on a normal schedule subject to COVID-19 guidelines and meet the WPCA’s other financial commitments for the year.

The Walton Park Community Association’s Board of Directors continues to monitor updates from the Governor as it pertains to the phased reopening of Virginia. His recent announcement regarding Phase 2 has allowed us to consider lap swimming in the coming weeks, as we await state allowances for more activity and larger attendance.

After Phase 1 was introduced, the board authorized staff to begin pool-opening preparations. This is a several weeks’ long process, and includes preparing the pool, testing all pool system operations, procuring all of the cleaning supplies for the season and training lifeguards on Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidance. The pool covers are off, water levels are up to where they need to be, and the pool pump and chemicals need to have time to do their job. That process is not completed yet, so although the pool “looks” ready, it is not safe for swimming at this time.

It is the Board of Directors’ intention and hope to open the pool this season, in accordance with state requirements and CDC guidance, by July 1 at the latest and possibly as early as June 21. We at the Board want to open the pool this year as quick as we can and in a safe manner for you and your families! As you can imagine, finding this balance on a reduced budget is not easy.

We are still finalizing details of an opening plan, which will require additional training for our lifeguards and pool management, as they will be tasked with implementing new policies. We also need to secure sufficient sanitizing products to keep surfaces clean and sanitary and create an operational schedule and a sign-up system for pool use. We anticipate the pool being open for 90-minute shifts of up to 45 individuals at a time (leaving room for staff to remain below the projected 50-person limitation). A 30-minute cleaning period would be included between these shifts.

The following decisions already have been made with the current situation in mind: The snack bar will be closed.Visitors will need to bring their own seating. Only children 14 and older can be at the pool without an adult supervisor. These decisions are not up for debate, for safety reasons.

When we finalize the opening plan, we will share it with the community. HOWEVER, without approximately 60 additional family memberships, the plan will need to be adjusted. We simply would not have enough money to pay for the lifeguards and other expenses needed to operate on a full schedule. We will need to have this membership gap closed by June 15 in order to fully open by July 1.

Thank you to those members who have already committed their dues, and thank you all for your patience and understanding.

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