McDermott Pool in Warwick reopens after 16 months
WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) – The McDermott Pool in Warwick reopened Monday after being closed for 16 months.
Mayor Frank Picozzi, who attended the pool’s opening, said this was one of the main goals for him and his staff when he took office.
“I was sworn in January 6, the process started January 7,” he said.
It took longer than expected for the pool to reopen because the city had to address some much-needed repairs.
More than 150 thousand dollars were spent to replace the entire HVAC system and update various furnaces and pumps.
“The expenses had to be approved by city council and that takes a couple of months. It wasn’t easy, for these parts you don’t just go down to Home Depot or Lowes and the supply chain for everything is disrupted so it took several months to get it together,” Mayor Picozzi said.
While the renovation is complete, one issue that remains is a lack of staffing, causing the pool to only be open on a limited schedule.
The city is trying to recruit and train as many lifeguards as possible.
“We’ve been doing it on a weekly, daily, hourly basis, it’s been constant,” said Beverly Wiley, Director of the Warwick Parks and Recreation Department of the recruitment process.
But a solution could be found in their own waters. Warwick resident John Paul Heath is training to be a lifeguard in the very community where he grew up.
“I want to be able to help people, especially the weak swimmers, and be ready to save lives eventually and help out the community,” Heath said.
The current plan is to have the city’s lifeguards fully staffed by September.