Potawatami Pool closed for evaluation and repairs

NOW: Potawatami Pool closed for evaluation and repairs

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.,--As schools let out for the summer, you may be looking for some fun spots to cool down with your kids this summer; however, as you look to beat the heat, there is going to be one less option in South Bend. The Potawatomi Pool is closed for the 2022 season. The pool is closed indefinitely as the City of South Bend makes some upgrades to the city’s only outdoor pool facility.

Adrian Amucia said she was hoping to take her three kids here when they take trips to see family. They haven’t been to the pool in a couple of years but were looking forward to returning this summer.

“I mean it’s definitely going to suck because I would love the splash pad over here. It’s nice to walk across the street and head to the pool…I was planning on going today, I just didn’t know that it was closed.

For 67 years, the facility has seen its fair share of upgrades, but over the past seven years, it was evident larger changes are needed. Director of recreational experiences, Jonathan Jones said it is imperative that investigators take a deeper dive into the pool’s infrastructure.

“We’re really making sure that we can do a thorough investigation to get a good understanding of what all is at play,” said Jones. “It’d be irresponsible for us to make a really quick fix and something else goes wrong.”

Jones said the closure is part of many upgrades throughout South Bend’s facilities. South Bend Venues Parks and Arts responded to the pool closure by extending the hours and summer season at the Kennedy Water Playground. However, the playground is about fifteen minutes away and will not draw in much of the crowds from the zoo.

Connor McKenna has been a lifeguard at Kennedy for three years and the staff is more prepared than ever for the high number of visitors expected.

“We had opening day yesterday, and it was definitely the busiest opening day we had.”

McKenna said the pool closure actually helped with staffing concerns.

“Especially after COVID and everything there were a lot less certification courses going on. In the city department especially—there was a big shortage of life guards. So, after Potawatomi closed, we had access to a greater amount of guards here at Kennedy.”

Kennedy’s pool is only 18 inches deep, which is good for little ones but not for swimming.

The city announced the pool’s closure on Tuesday, citing “major foundational issues” as the staff tried to reopen the pool for the season. The issues include problems with the lining and underlying issues at the pool which is regularly assessed by the city. As the pool undergoes evaluations and repairs, Jones sees the fix as an opportunity to work with the community so the space fits guests’ needs.

“This is actually a great opportunity for us to begin communicating with the community to see what are some of the things people want to see,” said Jones. As you look at what could be the next iteration for aquatic programming aquatic facilities for the city.”

You can provide feedback to VPA. Find more summer recreation options in South Bend here.

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