Laughter was heard coming from Arthur Road in Solon last week after the swimming pool opened to the public for the first time this season under sunny skies.
Twelve-year-old Isaac Leskovec, of Solon, said he and his friends have been going to creeks to swim while community facilities were closed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, but it wasn’t the same as a pool.
He and his friend Warren Stevens, 11, of Solon, jumped into the deep end in tandem.
“It feels like nothing has changed,” Isaac said.
“It’s good to just get out, and it is so refreshing because it’s going to be a hot summer,” Warren added.
Arthur Road pool, which is open Wednesday through Sunday for the next eight weeks through Aug. 16 by reservation, is the only outdoor swimming option for public pools in Solon since the Community Center’s outdoor pool is closed. While the state has allowed for the opening of pools beginning last month, the city opted to not open the community center outdoor pool because it has features that make it more like a water park.
Ohio health officials closed schools, businesses and community gathering places in mid-March to control the spread of COVID-19 and began reopening the state at the end of May.
“We lucked out,” city Aquatics Director Jim Sordi said of the weather for the opening week. “It’s been a perfect temperature and we are hoping to see more people as we get going.”
About 40 turned out for opening day, with 50 people maximum allowed during three time blocks. Open for members of the Solon Community Center only, the Arthur Road pool’s reservations can be made on the city’s website at solonohio.org. Reservations can be made a day in advance.
Lifelong Solon resident Gayle Gambino was there opening day and the next, and enjoyed lap swimming.
“I’ve been coming to this pool since 1971,” Ms. Gambino, 63, said, adding she feels so lucky to live in Solon because so many other pools remain closed.
“There are not bells and whistles here,” she said. “It’s a gem.”
Upbeat music played on the pool deck, with some families soaking up the rays and others enjoying the free swim.
There are no chairs on the deck and the diving board is closed off. People are encouraged to bring their own chairs. No concessions are available.
But regardless, people enjoy just swimming, Mr. Sordi said.
“It’s laid back here, and it’s been really nice,” he said. “You are here for two hours to swim and enjoy yourself.”