INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time in two years, there is water in the Broad Ripple Park pool, but residents are still waiting to go for a swim.
“Here’s my bathing suit and there’s my swim trunks,” said Michael Mendez, standing outside the pool at Broad Ripple Park.
After two years of the pool being closed to the public, Mendez is so excited to see water in it.
So much so, he can almost taste the chlorine.
“I could almost go right now at a moment’s notice. They open up that pool and I’m ready to go,” he said, putting on his swimming cap and goggles to show just how ready he is.
So far this year, the city has opened six of its 17 pools from Wednesday through Sunday. Right now, the pool at Broad Ripple Park is not one of them.
That hasn’t stopped volunteers like Dawn Myers from cleaning up around the park, especially around the pool, hoping that will change.
“I’ve never swum in the pool, but community and giving children some place safe and healthy to go is very important to the community and the well-being of our future children,” Myers explained.
Even though the pool at Broad Ripple Park is full of water, the city said it can’t say for certain that the pool will open.
That’s because they say there’s a lifeguard shortage and the city says a lot is going to depend on next week’s lifeguard training and how many potential lifeguards make the cut after taking a test.
So far this summer, the city has hired 81 lifeguards, but a spokesperson for the parks department said they need 200 for all 17 of the city’s pools to be staffed to open.
“I want that pool right there open because there’s my lap lane right there,” said Mendez, pointing to the spot in the pool where he does his mile-long swim.
He said he can see himself there every time he looks at the water.
“Let’s just hope. That’s a lot of wasted water if they don’t use this,” said Mendez.