Indy Parks to close city pools as school begins
Eyewitness News has learned Indianapolis is closing its pools earlier than ever this year - even in the midst of the hottest summer on record.
"It's been like I was in the desert," said 10-year-old Joseph James of the summer heat.
So James and his family have spent their afternoons at the pool at Garfield Park.
"When I come to the pool, it's like I'm in a different place. Like, it cools me down," said 14-year-old Patrick James.
After Sunday, though, the James brothers will have to find another way to stay cool. That's because the city will be closing all 19 of its outdoor pools for the season.
"Balanced calendars for schools present a new challenge for us," said Jen Pittman of the reason for the early closures.
With children across the city heading back to school earlier this year, Indy Parks said it didn't make sense financially to keep the pools open with limited hours during the week or even on weekends.
"I think maybe they should leave 'em open a little bit longer, with the heat and everything," said mom Elizabeth Bowman.
"We'll definitely have to find something to do to keep cool on the weekends," said mom Frances Lloyd.
Even with the pools closing earlier, Indy Parks officials said the city's 15 spray grounds will be open through Labor Day to keep people cool.
"Those spray grounds are free. They're open from dawn till dusk and those will be an option for those hotter days when those outdoor pools close," said Pittman.
"Well, that's fun for the really small ones, but not for the older kids. They don't really enjoy that too much," said Lloyd.
Not to mention, a water ban is still in place limiting how people use water. So forget about hosing the kids down at the house.
"That makes it even more difficult, so I don't know what we'll do," said Lloyd.
"I guess we'll have to stay inside a lot," said Bowman.
Just because pool season is over, that doesn't mean the sweltering heat is finished.
"Some kids don't have air conditioning, so they come to the pool just to cool down," said Patrick James.
After this Sunday, though, they'll have to find another way.
These three indoor pools will be open: