The City of Dubuque on Wednesday released details about how the two municipal swimming pools will operate this summer, as their schedules are more complicated than normal due to staffing issues.
There currently aren’t enough lifeguards to fully staff both the Flora Park and Nicholas J. Sutton pools.
“Right now, we have 25 certified lifeguards,” said city Recreation Division Manager Dan Kroger. “Normally during a summer season, we employ 60 to 80.”
Swimmers might notice fewer open swim hours and fewer opportunities for children who are not toddlers to be in the pools than in past summers. Kroger said the schedules were designed so the pools could operate safely with less staff.
If the city is able to hire more staff over the course of the summer, schedules could change to include more open swim hours.
Pre-season hours: June 1 to 11
During the first two weeks of June, only Flora pool will be open.
On weekdays from June 1 to 11, Flora will be open for adult swim — with “adult” meaning only those who are at least 18 years old — in the main pool and preschool playgroup in the small pool from 7 to 11 a.m. All ages can swim from noon to 4:30 p.m.
On June 5 and 6, all ages can swim from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The limited pre-season hours and locations are related to the lengthy closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because Dubuque pools haven’t been open since summer 2019, even returning lifeguards will need training before the regular season begins, Kroger said.
Regular hours: June 14 to Aug. 6
Sutton will open on June 14. At that point, the schedule will become a bit more complicated.
On weekdays, one pool will offer open swimming and lessons, referred to as Schedule A, while the other will have more limited offerings. The pools will switch schedules every two weeks.
Flora will be on Schedule A on weekdays from June 14 to 25 and July 12 to 23. Sutton will follow Schedule A from June 28 to July 9 and July 26 to Aug. 6.
7 to 8:30 a.m., adult swim9 to 11:40 a.m., swim lessons1 to 4:30 p.m., open swim5 to 7 p.m., evening swim lessons
Schedule B applies to Sutton on weekdays from June 14 to 25 and July 12 to 23. Flora will be on that schedule from June 28 to July 9 and July 26 to Aug. 6.
7 to 11 a.m., main pool open for adult swim and water playground open for children 6 and youngerNoon to 4:30 p.m., main pool open for adult swim and water playground open for children 6 and younger5 p.m., Aquatots class
Open swim blocks are the only time that children can swim in the main pools outside of swim lessons. On weekdays, open swim blocks only will be offered at the Schedule A pool.
To address this, Kroger said the city is offering more periods of open swimming on Saturday and Sunday, though only one city pool will be open each day. Flora will be open on Saturdays all summer, while Sutton will be open on Sundays.
On each weekend day, open swim will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Rentals and special events are slated for 5 to 7 p.m.
Fees and program passes
For open swim periods, admission will be $2 for youth ages 4 to 17 and $4 for adults. Children younger than 4 will be admitted for free. Ten-visit punch cards also will be available for $20, while a 20-visit punch card costs $40.
People who want to take advantage of adult swim and preschool playgroup times can register for summer passes. The adults-only and adult playgroup passes both cost $50 for city residents and $60 for nonresidents. The child playgroup pass for children 6 years and younger costs $10 for residents and $12 for nonresidents.
For program passes, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/recreation starting on Tuesday, May 25, or visit Flora between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday, May 25 to 27. Punch cards also can be bought at that time.