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Unsafe behavior at Rochester, Minnesota's Soldiers Field Swimming Pool ended up closing the pool (and delaying the opening of Rochester's Silver Lake pool).

To find out what the heck was going on, we reached out to Paul Widman, Rochester Parks & Recreation Director. But first, some background.

photo by Kim David
Silver Lake Pool photo by Kim David

From a story this morning on KROC NEWS -

"Yesterday (Tuesday the 8th), the Soldier's Field Pool announced a capacity limit of 300 in an effort to control unruly guests but that policy quickly changed. Citing safety concerns, the City...announced the two city pools will be temporarily closed, effective immediately.

The city's press release says, "The unsafe activities have included fights, pushing, children being left unattended, lack of attention to the lifeguards, and general disregard for pool rules." (Keep Reading - Rochester Closes City Pools)

Twin Cities Summer Jam Ticket Special 2021
2021 Twin Cities Summer Jam

What Is The City Going to Do to Keep Rochester's City Pools Safe?

Click PLAY to hear the entire conversation. Click HERE for the full transcript

I asked Paul, and I quote, "What the flaming hooty-hoo is happening there, man?" His response was super straightforward.

"Top three reasons we close the pool are safety, safety, and safety. T here are just so many things that were distracting the lifeguards from doing their job of just of maintaining safety in the water, so much going on in and around the pools that could have led to something distracting from somebody that really needed some help or a young child that needed help."


So they're taking a breather and in meetings over the next several days, come up with a plan to keep safety top notch and get the pools open.

"...pre COVID (we went from having) five lifeguards on duty to nine. Uh, so that was one of the things that was implemented. And then we are looking at maybe providing some support, some people to help monitor outside the pool and on the deck."

James Rabe (02:23): Is there...a chance that some people really just don't know how to act at the pool?

Paul Widman (02:30): Well, there's a lot of things that we're thinking. One is, there's just a lot of pent up energy right now because we're coming out of COVID and it is a unique and strange time for all of us. I know in my own household, we're all adjusting to that. And so we're thinking that factors in quite a bit. We do have some behavior issues going on. We don't know really what the source is, but, um, working to, to manage that as best as we can.

Swimming - Olympics: Day 8
NOT A Rochester Native winning awards or something. Getty Images

So, When Will Rochester's City Pools Open

The best Widman could offer was, "I can't give you a firm date, but once we get resources identified and in place, we'll be open. The good thing is Silver Lake is ready to roll. And so we'll have that extra room and extra pool to absorb some of the demands."

I wish we had more for you, but I think it's better theyt ake the time and do it correctly.

google maps
google maps

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know:

Listen to James Rabe Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11-Noon on KROC AM 1340 and 96.9 FM and Weekdays with Jessica Williams Weekday from 6 - 10 AM on Y-105 FM

5 Places in Rochester Where Kids Can Learn How To Swim

Getting kids enrolled in swimming lessons is a perfect way to help kids of all ages learn skills so they can swim, have fun with their friends, but also stay safe as they are in pools and lakes this summer. Check out these 5 places in Rochester that offer swimming lessons.

And if you need to get your kid into summer camp (don't worry, a LOT of parents are way behind on it)...

List of Summer Camps for 2021 in Southeast Minnesota

Googling for summer camps that are open in 2021 for your kids just got easier. Check out this list of amazing camps that specialize in a variety of fun for kids all over Southern Minnesota, including the Rochester area.

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