Dive in: Commission votes to reopen Upshur County Pool May 29 with COVID-19 protocols in place

BUCKHANNON – It’s official: Upshur County residents and visitors can get into the swim of things this summer.

The Upshur County Recreational Park and Pool will open to the public Saturday, May 29. The Upshur County pool did not open during the 2020 season due to COVID-19 pandemic, but the Upshur County Commission voted to open the pool this summer during Thursday’s commission meeting.

“It will open to the public May 29 and close Aug. 7, and the Monday through Saturday hours will be the same as 2019, with the elimination of the Monday evening family fun night as there wasn’t as much interest as we had hoped,” Assistant Upshur County Administrator Tabatha Perry said Thursday, “so that will open up that evening for private pool parties.”

The pool hours will be from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sundays with an entry fee of $5 per person, $3 after 3 p.m. and $2 after 5 p.m. Perry said there are guidelines from November 2020 that will be followed, along with any new guidelines that are issued from West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s Office.

“The main points that stood out to me were limiting the number of people going into the changing rooms; outdoors everything will be fine,” Perry said. “It seems like they’re going to recommend social distancing when you’re laying out on the chairs, unless it’s your immediate family and we’ve had additional hand-sanitizing stations installed throughout the facility.”

The commission voted to set season pool passes at $120 for an individual person then each other pass purchased for an immediate family member will be tiered, so it will start at $60 for the second person and the next would cost $30 and then $15 and so on.

Upshur County Commissioner Sam Nolte and commission president Kristie Tenney at Thursday’s commission meeting. The two commissioners, along with commissioner Terry Cutright, voted unanimously to open the pool May 29 with COVID-19 protocols in place.

New upgrades will also be added to the pool including flower gongs, floatable creatures and a larger wiggle bridge that will be installed on the slide section of the pool. Read more about the planned park and pool improvements here.

Pool parties may be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The cost is $200 for under 40 people, $225 for 40 to 80 people and $250 for 80 or more people. In addition, group swim lessons will be offered Monday through Friday for $50 per week, and private lessons for children under four years old may be scheduled by request, as available, for $15 per session.

The Upshur County Recreational Park includes a wooded park, Olympic-size swimming pool, picnic pavilions with grills, basketball courts, tennis courts, and hiking and biking trails. It’s located adjacent to Buckhannon-Upshur High School at 380 B-U Drive in Tennerton.

At its April 8 meeting, the commission approved the seasonal employment of Hannah Lively as the B-U Recreational Park Facilities Director for the 2021 season. For more information, contact Perry at 304-0535, ext. 2 out of season and 304-472-5310 in season.

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