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YMCA of Parkersburg to manage city pools

Free classes planned for summertime

PARKERSBURG — The YMCA of Parkersburg won the bid to staff and manage the pools at City and Southwood parks this summer and plans to use the opportunity to expand its aquatic programs in the community.

It’s the first time the organization will be managing a pool other than its own, YMCA CEO Jeff Olson said.

“The YMCA isn’t just a physical location on Broad Street,” Olson said in a news release. “It’s a nonprofit working every day to improve the lives of people in our area by bringing them together and forming a community.

“Winning the pool bid, one, allows us to use our expertise in managing pools to benefit the community, but it also allows us to extend our reach,” he said.

The Y was the lowest responsible bidder with an amount of $137,212, Parkersburg Finance Director Eric Jiles said. That’s down from $156,108.62 from last year’s contract with Professional Pool Management, which operated the city’s pools for much of the last decade.

Jiles credited the competitive bidding process with occasional decreases in the cost.

“Several years ago, we were paying well over $200,000,” he said.

The YMCA will hire the staff, including seasonal lifeguards, and handle personnel matters, as well as stock and manage the concession stands.

The pools will open on Memorial Day weekend, and the hours are Monday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.

The organization is planning free summer fitness classes starting June 14. Yoga on the pool deck will be offered on Mondays and Aqua Zumba on Thursdays, each from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m., at City Park. Southwood Park will be the site of Aqua Zumba on Tuesdays and Aqua Bootcamp on Wednesdays, also from 6:15 to 7:!5 p.m.

“We are so excited to be able to offer some fun programming for the community to enjoy for free,” said Program Director Criss Welshans. “Yoga and Aqua Zumba are popular programs already, and we are excited to introduce Aqua Bootcamp. We are looking forward to seeing some new faces over the summer.”

Olson said he hopes the Y’s efforts will draw more people to the pools and encourage them to take advantage of other amenities at the parks.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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