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Highland Heights pool looking forward to improvements

The pool is open from 12:30pm-8:00pm and is located at the Highland Heights Community Park at 5905 Wilson Mills Road.

Official Highland Heights website

The pool is open from 12:30pm-8:00pm and is located at the Highland Heights Community Park at 5905 Wilson Mills Road.

Gianna Ferrante, Guest Writer

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After complaints and concerns of understaffing last year, Highland Heights pool made changes they hope will make for a more successful summer.

Families and individuals that attend the pool in the summer seemed to have decreased over the last couple years.  Anthony Piazza, a manager of the pool, feels very strongly about expanding the lifeguard count.  He said, “We first have been working on getting more guards for the pool, so that the same people aren’t working the same shifts all the time and getting tired or distracted while working.”

The pool offers a four-day summer class learning more about lifeguarding and ensuring that the current and incoming guards knowing all there is about lifeguarding and their certification to be a guard.

“We want to start with the guards, improving how they work,” Piazza said. “If we change the way they work, it can draw in a bigger crowd, knowing that their are certified guards on duty to ensure the safety of kids who come to the pool.”

The pool has had many applications for working this coming summer due to the advertising of their desire for more guards.  “Instead of having less guards who get anxious and distracted because they work too much, increasing the amount of guards will create a better rotation and even out the shifts so that parents see hard working and attentive guards all the time, to feel safer about bringing their kids to our pool,” Piazza said.

The pool is also offering swimming lessons for the kids to participate in.  “The lessons are based on a level system, 1-7, level 1 being the first stage and 7 being swim team level,” Piazza said.

Mayfield graduate Felice Ferrante is a swim team coach who feels that the swim lessons program at Highland Heights greatly benefits kids.  She said, “The swim team is the last level, but it’s definitely the most fun because young kids get to join a team with other kids of all ages and abilities to learn from each other and grow as swimmers.”

“I went through lessons and then decided I wanted to further myself in the sport and joined the Suburban Swim League (SSL) team,” Ferrante says, “and I’ve been swimming ever since.”

The desire to increase the amount of guards on duty, the pool would then increase the amount of guards supervising and teaching lessons.  “Each level has its guards that each it,” Piazza said. “Basically it’s just different stages and aspects of swimming, getting a little bit harder and harder each time.”

Gina Burich is a French teacher at Mayfield High School and said, “I personally have never done the lessons before, simply because of time, but now that they are offering the afternoon session, we may be able to do them now.”

Ferrante believes that the Highland Heights pool lessons program ultimately determined her future.  “I’m going into my sophomore year at John Carroll and I’m still swimming and I still even remember my lessons from when I was 5 years old, “ Ferrante said. “The lessons are so memorable and flexible now that they’re offering two different lesson option times.”

Current lifeguard and coach Matthew Kenosh also benefits from the new options.  “I’m pretty busy over the summer and I don’t have too much time for extra working because I already coach in the morning and evening, “ Kenosh said, “so I have to get all my hours for the week in between practices, so the new time of lessons gives me another chance in the day to get some hours in without interfering with coaching .”

In addition to the morning session, the afternoon lessons from 5-6 will hopefully draw more participation.   “After each stage, the guards who teach that level give an evaluation of the kids individually that tell whether they can move onto the next level or if they have to redo a specific one,” Piazza said.

Nothing was questioned about the ability of the guards, considering the applying guards have to go through certification with the Red Cross.  “The guards are trained and certified to give lessons by the Red Cross, but we just want to increase the amount of guards to give all guards a chance to teach and give lessons,” Piazza said.

With hopes to increase participation in lessons and attendance in the community pool, Highland Heights is working on and already succeeding in their effort to increase guards at the pool.

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Highland Heights pool looking forward to improvements