DEWITT — The harsh winter weather the area has experienced has created cancellations and inconveniences. Its arctic effects even have reached so far as to disrupt swimming lessons in DeWitt that are scheduled to start the second week of June.
For DeWitt Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Lake, that’s a first.
Each year, when it comes to planning the swim lesson schedule at the DeWitt Aquatic Center, Lake said possible snow days always are taken into account.
However, with the snow and sub-zero temperatures wreaking havoc as they have this year, no one figured on the school year being extended well into June.
Originally, Central DeWitt students’ last day of school was scheduled for May 31.
As of Thursday, due to all the make-up days (of which there are nine, so far) the last day of school has been pushed to Thursday, June 13.
Lake said the first week of private swimming lessons was set to begin Monday, June 10.
He knows there still is plenty of winter left to go, and with it the possibility of more snow days to factor into the schedule.
“We have all our swimming lessons already entered into our website,” Lake related. “Obviously, we’ll have to change that. I knew [the bad weather] was coming, but there was a part of me that thought … we could still be OK. But, we’ll do what we have to do. Safety has to come first, for sure.”
He added there may have to be some consideration given to when the aquatic center officially will open for the season.
Every year, the pool opens Memorial Day weekend, then closes that following Tuesday and for the rest of the week.
It reopens the following weekend and then – assuming school is out for the summer – it’s open daily for the remainder of the season.
At the moment, there is potential not to be able to open the facility for the summer until June 14 at the earliest.
From an operational standpoint, Lake explained, it may not be advantageous to open Memorial Day weekend, continue to close the pool during the week and only be open on the weekends until almost mid-June.
“We’ll need to decide if it makes sense,” Lake said. “We’ll make the best decision we can.”
The schedule conflicts in this calendar year began in August when officials were forced to close the pool for the season Aug. 26, a deviation from its typical schedule of closing after Labor Day. A majority of the pool’s lifeguard staff going back to college was to blame.