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Cold, Rainy Pool Season Coming To An End

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As of Sunday night half of the aquatic centers in Sioux Falls were closed for the season. And while it was sunny and warm Sunday, previous days haven’t been what you could call the perfect pool weather.

All Sioux Falls Aquatic Centers have been closed several times this season due to the cold, rainy weather. And although Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Coordinators said they won’t know for sure just how many days pools closed early, or were closed for a day, for another week they said it was a lot more than in 2012.

Pool areas are empty, dry, and quiet. That can only mean one thing, the pool season is wrapping up.
“We've been up and down, we've had our few challenges throughout the summer, but we've really tried to keep the pools open as often as we can,” said Recreation Coordinator Cathy Buchheim, with Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation.

Buchheim said there's a rule of thumb when it comes to opening pools. It has to be at least 70 degrees and in order to keep it open children’s laughter can't be muffled by rolling thunder. So looking back at the weather, the 2013 pool season hasn't been ideal.

“It's been pretty cold and windy,” said Rebekah Kirkland of Sioux Falls.

Rebekah, a mother of three, said her family tries and enjoy the pools the city has to offer probably more often than most.
“We try to go every day for at least an hour,” said Rebekah.

But this summer hasn't allowed the family to keep that schedule.  
“This last week we missed the whole week,” said Rebekah. “There were some weeks where we only went a day, maybe two.”
And for a family full of devoted pool goers, there is one in the bunch who is OK with the lack of pool time.

“Well I'm not too sad because I like staying home and playing video games,” said Kaleb Kirkland, Rebekah’s son.
But 11-year-old Kaleb did change his mind when he thought about having to sit in a desk, instead of a pool chair.

“Yes (I’m sad), big time,” said Kaleb.

As for Buchheim, she said keeping kids from having fun in the sun on cooler days was a drag.  On the bright side though, the sunny, warmer days brought a lot of people out to enjoy one last dip.

“We had a few days full of capacity numbers,” Buchheim said.

Buchheim also said when pools close it actually helps keep the pool budget, on budget. She said the fewer personnel hours keeps costs down and that always helps in the long run.  

You still have a couple of weeks to catch some rays poolside. Drake Springs Aquatic Center is open until Aug. 23. Laurel Oak Family Aquatic Center and Kuehn Pool are open until Sept. 1.
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