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The Upshur County Swimming Pool
My Buckhannon file photo

Upshur Recreational Park and Pool slated to open May 27

BUCKHANNNON – The Upshur County Recreational Park and Pool will open to the public Saturday, May 27.

Jeremiah McCourt, Upshur County Parks and Recreation Facilities Director, attended the March 2 Upshur County Commission meeting to give an overview of the 2022 season and discuss upcoming events and plans for the 2023 season.

Upshur County Parks and Recreation Facilities Director Jeremiah McCourt reviews the 2022 season and announces important times and dates for the 2023 season. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

“I would like to give a little rundown of the previous season, which I believe was a tremendous success,” McCourt said. “We did have a little bit of some growing pains with the new Rec Desk system, but anytime you run a new program, you’re going to have some problems — not necessarily with the program itself, but with the users and people who have always done it a certain way.”

McCourt said he had identified the problems and is working through them.

“We have found the bugs, we’re working through them this year, and they’ve actually rolled out a new Flex program for activities like camps, and I’m going to use them for the private swim lessons,” he said.

McCourt said the previous process was tedious and forced users to sign up each time they needed more than one swim lesson.

“With the Flex program, you have the option of selecting multiple days, so if you want to bring kids or grandkids for lessons Monday through Friday, you just come in, fill out the paperwork once, click the days, and you’re done, so it’s going to streamline that process,” McCourt said. “That was really the biggest change as far as what we’re doing programming-wise, other than pool parties this year. We found that we had maybe five late parties [in the past], so moving forward this year, we’re going to bump back the party for an hour, so 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays.”

Pool parties may be scheduled from 7-9 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 6-8 p.m. on Sundays. On both Fridays and Saturdays, parties may be booked for either 6-8 p.m. or 8:30-10:30 p.m.

In addition, the group swim lessons were rescheduled to occur on the weekends last year, and McCourt said they plan to keep that schedule in 2023.

“I found out it helped scheduling lifeguards, and it helped bring that program up; we already have people signed up for the group lessons for June,” McCourt said. “I rolled those out as they fill up, so as soon as June fills up or we get into June, then I’ll roll out July signups.”

The admission rates for the park will remain the same as last year, but chair rentals are included in the cost of a season pass. Otherwise, they must be rented daily.

“We’re not changing the prices, and I don’t think we have the amenities to increase admission rate prices,” McCourt said. “The rental chairs were a huge, huge success, and if someone buys a season pass, they also get the chairs, so that’s a little perk. If you don’t have a pass, it’s $2 for the day to have one of those nice lounge chairs. We still have benches, and we still have plenty of grass if people want to sit down, so we’re going to keep that program as well.”

The North Central West Virginia Swim Championship will also make a return to Upshur County July 14-15.

“After this year, they will vote where to have the event for the next two years, and they have the option to keep it at the current facility as well,” McCourt said. “They were extremely happy; we are the only 50-meter pool in North Central West Virginia, so to have the ability for those kids to compete and then have a warm-up/cool-down area was huge.”

The park will also see the return of the triathlon that began last year and the debut of a new Strongman contest.

“Before last year, I had never done a triathlon, so I wanted to know how it was operated and if we could do it successfully, and we had a small group of people that loved it,” McCourt said. “They loved the course, they loved the facilities, and there was a 50-meter pool, so they didn’t have to do 20 turns; it was just down and back six times.”

The triathlon will consist of a 500-meter swim, a 12-mile bike ride and a 5K run, and the Strongman event will follow that afternoon, McCourt told the commission.

McCourt said he hopes to keep the pool open up to Labor Day as long as staffing levels allow, but he doesn’t want to fully commit to that date until hiring for the season is completed.  

“Right now, our closing date is Aug. 6 until I know who’s applying and who’s going to fill the lifeguard positions,” McCourt said. “I don’t want to commit to being open until Labor Day until I know we have staff willing to work the weekends.”

The Upshur County Recreational Complex Rec Desk link may be found here.

Upshur County Recreational Park Hours and dates:

Open to the public May 27 and closing date Aug. 6:

  • Hours of operation Monday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.
  • Admission: $5 per person, $3 admission after 3 p.m.
  • Sundays (Family Fun Day) – Hours are 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with $3 per person admission—no charge for children under 2 years old.

Season Pool Pass:

  • $120 for individual pass; each additional pass for immediate family is discounted by 50 percent ($60, $30, $15, $7.50)
  • One-day pool passes in books of five are $20.

Lounge Chair Rental:

  • $2/chair (These are included in any purchased Season Pool Pass).

Pool Parties:

  • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • Cost is $200 for under 40 people, $225 for 40 to 80 people, $250 for 80-plus people.

Swimming Lessons:

  • Group Swim Lessons: Weekends — $80 for eight lessons.
  • Private Lessons for children under 4 years of age or by request as available – $15 per session

Shelter Rental:

  • Large Shelter – $50 ($47 for tax-exempt entities)
  • Small Shelter – $25 ($23.50 for tax-exempt entities)

Lap Swimming:

  • Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Cost is $50 for each pass or $3 per day.

Water Aerobics:

  • Starting Tuesday, May 30
  • Monday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • $5 per session

Swim Teams: $400

Discounts: Camp Buccaneer/Child Development Centers/UC Public Library/Camp Tommy/Upshur County 4-H/Upshur County Schools: $55 for each pool pass, $200 for each pool party

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