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Some Syracuse pools won't open due to lifeguard shortage

Thornden park at Syracuse
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A state and nationwide lifeguard shortage is limiting the number of outdoor pools Syracuse this summer.

So far, the city will only be able to open five of its eight pools, starting with Thornden park June 18. That will be followed by Onondaga Park and Schiller park pools the next day. Kirk Park will open June 25, and Burnet Park is aiming for early July. Lincoln, McKinley, and Wilson park pools, as well as indoor pools at the Valley and Southwest community center will remain closed.

Swimming lessons, water exercise classes and swim teams are canceled for the summer season. The city continues to seek lifeguards and will open additional pools if more lifeguards can be hired.

More information about pool hours and other requirements is at

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at