The Upshur County Recreational Park Pool / My Buckhannon file photo

Upshur County Parks & Recreation director announces tentative date for pool’s opening

BUCKHANNON – This winter has been long, dark and devoid of sunlight.

But don’t despair: Residents and visitors can start marking down the days until May when they can once again bask in the sun or splash around at the Upshur County Recreational Park Pool.

Upshur County Parks and Recreation Director Jeremiah McCourt said the tentative date for the opening of the Upshur County Pool is set for Saturday, May 25, although May 20 will be the first day for pool parties.

McCourt briefed the Upshur County Commission on how the 2024 season is shaping up, saying he hopes the pool can stay open through Monday, Sept. 2, which is Labor Day.

The commissioners were pleased.

“Essentially, you’ve expanded the season four to five weeks since you started,” Commission President Sam Nolte said. “That’s great.”

McCourt said residents and visitors have been able to reserve the pool and the pavilions since January 2024.

Rec Desk, the software used to make reservations, is rolling out some new features, including a 10-day pass that automatically deducts days the pass has been used.

“They come in, they check in, and it automatically deducts days, so that’s something we’re going to try this year and see how it works for us,” McCourt said.

McCourt requested the commission’s permission to advertise for two full-time managers, a third hybrid (an assistant manager-head lifeguard combo), 18 lifeguards and up to 14 admissions and concessions workers.

He also laid out plans for having more summer camps and events at the Park Pool, including possibly one with Appalachian Impact that mentors at-risk you, 4-H camps and the August Triathlon. McCourt highlighted several entities coming for special events, including 20 swimmers in a U.S. Olympic training program coming from North Carolina to train at the pool.

“We’ve got about 20 swimmers in the Olympic training program that are coming up from North Carolina to train at our facility,” McCourt said. “They’ll be looking at other things to do around here – they’re going to check out the trails, they’re going to eat dinner here every night and stay at Wesleyan. It’s going to be a pretty cool partnership, I think.”

“That’s neat,” Nolte said. “And they’re choosing us because of the size of our pool?

“That’s right – because of the size of our pool,” McCourt replied. “They said we are the closest outdoor Olympic-sized pool they could find within a shot of North Carolina, so that is something that I’m excited to expand on and continue growing.”

McCourt said there are larger out-of-state aquatic facilities, but those are often set up for kayaking training courses and other activities that extend beyond swimming, and some of them don’t have lane lines.

Nolte said he was excited to see the resurfacing of the Recreational Park’s tennis courts come to fruition.

“I’ll be excited when we get the tennis courts done; then we have the potential for it to be multi-purpose with pickleball and some other options down there. I’m sure that’s something you’ll be able to work with.”

The commission unanimously approved advertising lifeguards, admission workers, concession stand workers and assistant managers for the 2024 season at the Buckhannon-Upshur Recreational Park Facility.

Those temporary positions will commence mid-May and continue through mid-September. Applications must be received on or before the close of business on Friday, April 5, 2024.

For questions or more detailed inquiries about booking pool parties or pavilions visit the Recreational Park’s website or contact McCourt via email at or by calling 304-473-9768.

Hours and more details will be announced at a future date.

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