Pratt pool opens to the public two days late, but just in time for the summer heat

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Kaleigh Holmes heads for open water off the diving board Wednesday at the Ellis Kinney Swimming Pool in Pratt.

The traditional Memorial Day opening of the Ellis Kinney Memorial Pool was delayed two days last week because of rainy, cold weather, but the sun came out and kids showed up in full force on Wednesday, June 2 for the first full day of swimming fun in Pratt.

"The air temperature has to be 75 degrees or more for us to open," said Pratt pool manager Dee Hill. "It was only 63 degrees on Monday and Tuesday it was just a little bit warmer but not enough. On Wednesday, when it was finally warm enough we had more than 200 kids in and out of here."

By mid-week, last week, the temperatures in Pratt were 84 degrees and higher as the public swimming pool became a very popular place to cool off. Those in attendance said they hoped it would stay open all summer and not have to close for any upkeep issues as in a previous year.

Hill said that all maintenance issues had been taken care of earlier in the month and she did not expect there to be any closings this summer because of cracks or injurious protusions on the bottom of the pool, as in 2019. In 2020 the pool remained closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"City crews have been out in full force painting and fixing all the cracks," Hill said. "We should be great for all of summer, very happy to be open again."

Amid the usual poolside laughter and splashing water, junior high swimmers Ariana Ackerman, Caedence Holmes and Kaleigh Holmes said the cold water didn't bother them the first day the pool was open, they were just glad to have the opportunity to get together with their friends and have fun.

"It is cold, but not too bad," said Kaleigh Holmes, as she mounted the diving board for another spalsh-down. "It's warmer in the water."

Hill said that, unless closed for storms or low temperatures, summer pool open hours are Monday-Thursday 1-6 p.m., Friday 1-7 p.m., Saturday 1-6 p.m. and Sunday 2-6 p.m. Adult-only swim times are Monday-Saturday 12 noon-1 p.m. and Monday-Thursday 6-7 p.m. A summer water aerobics class has already started but newcomers are welcome to join anytime in the next 8 weeks from 12 noon-1 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.

Pratt Swim Team members currently use the public pool for split-practice sessions on weekday mornings. There are 51 Pratt-area youth taking part in the competitive swimming opportunity this year.

Caedence Holmes gets a good bounce off the diving board at the Pratt public pool on opening day, Wednesday, June 2.
Ariana Ackermen climbs the pool board ladder, waiting her turn to jump into the Pratt pool on Wednesday. Her friend Kaleigh Holmes (right) said the water was warmer than the outdoor air and they were all having a good time swimming.