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Starting summer with a splash

All city pools, except Connell Park, open; murals being created to make the parks more attractive.

Tarayn Waiters, Elgin Waiters, Kourtney Kizer, Ariana McCloe and Juanita Wolak pose for a picture poolside at Weston Field.

Kourtney Kizer, Ariana McCloe, Juanita Wolak, Tarayn Waiters and Mariah Kizer take a break from swimming.

Keystone College student Roseann Rutledge, of Scranton, paints a mural on a wall at Weston Field as part of a city beautification project.

Elgin Waiters blocks his nose as he leaps into the pool at Weston Field.

Ariana McCloe starts having second thoughts before attempting a stunt from the diving board at the pool at Weston Field. Most of Scranton’s pools are now open for swimming except for one at Connell Park, which is still being renovated. The pool was expected to be ready to open Saturday, but that has been delayed. A new date has not yet been set.

Kourtney Kizer smiles as she breaks the surface of the water in the pool at Weston Field on Tuesday.

Shelby Fisk photos / The Times Leader

Kourtney Kizer, left, and Tarayn Waiters laugh as they perform stunts in the pool while their friends watch.

Juanita Wolak was one who headed to Weston Field in Scranton to cool off in the pool and meet up with friends.

SCRANTON – School’s out and the pools are open.

All Scranton city pools, except Connell Park’s pool, are open and many children are already spending time outdoors at the pools now that the weather is nicer.

On Tuesday, at Weston Field almost all patches of grass were covered with families and children, and the pool was even more packed.

“Uh..swimming!” Mariah Kizer, 13, Scranton said is her favorite part of the summer and many children agreed.

The diving board was the hit of the day at Weston Field on Tuesday. After a lifeguard shouted, “the diving board is now open,” children in the pool’s deeper end swam away, not to avoid being splashed but rather to climb out and line up to dive in. For hours, children lined up to dive in off the diving board, while some children decided to jump in from sides of the pool.

On Thursday, Sandra Opshinsky, recreation specialist for the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, said that this year the pools in the city already seem more crowded than in previous years.

“The pools are now mobbed,” she said.

City pools are located at Connell Park, 800 Gibbons St.; McDade Park, off Keyser Avenue; Nay Aug Park, Arthur Avenue and Mulberry Street; Weston Field, 982 Providence Road; Weston Park, Spring Street and Hollister Avenue; Novembrino, 10th Avenue; and and Penn Ridge Swim Complex, Capouse Avenue.

Opshinsky said all pools in the city offer free admission, aside form Nay Aug Park, which features a water slide. Admission at Nay Aug Park is $3 for swimming and waterslide. Season passes are $50 and family season passes are $75. Senior admission at Nay Aug’s pool is $1 and children 5 and under get in for free. Non-resident prices are a bit higher.

Now that Scranton city pools are now open, projects to make them more beautiful are in the works.

Workshops to create murals at neighborhood pools are planned and those interested in helping out can paint for an hour or stay for the whole day. All ages and abilities are welcomes.

Upcoming mural dates include: July 5-11, Weston Park; July 18-25, Novembrino; Aug. 1-8, Penn Ridge; and Aug. 15-22, Connell Park.

Opshinsky said to get involved all you have to do is “show up and paint.”

Connell Park’s pool is scheduled to open before the end of summer, although a specific date has not yet been set. Opshinsky said a new water filtration system is being installed and the restrooms are being completely renovated. “We’re trying to get everything finished,” she said “we want it to be perfect.”

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