Richardson residents looking to cool off this summer will have full use of all neighborhood pools and The Heights Aquatic Center for the first time since 2019, according to a May 1 City Council meeting.

The context: Over the last two years, the city of Richardson offered extra incentives and referral bonuses to aid in recruiting new lifeguards. Despite these incentives, Richardson Parks and Recreation Department officials announced last May that it had only half of the staff needed to open all facilities.

As a result of these hiring issues, the Heights Family Aquatic Center was closed in 2022. According to city officials, it takes three times as many lifeguards to operate the Aquatic Center compared to other aquatic facilities, which necessitated keeping it closed for the remainder of that summer. Richardson’s four neighborhood pools were opened with limited hours in both 2021 and 2022.

What you need to know: This year, the city's four neighborhood pools and the Heights Family Aquatic Center are expected to be fully open throughout the summer under the following hours after being fully staffed, Richardson officials said. Pool reservations will not be available on closed days and are generally limited to weekend use.
  • Heights Family Aquatic Center: Tuesday-Sunday noon-8 p.m.
  • Canyon Creek neighborhood pool: Thursday-Tuesday 1-8 p.m.
  • Cottonwood neighborhood pool: Monday-Thursday 1-6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 1-8 p.m.
  • Glenville neighborhood pool: Wednesday-Monday 1-8 p.m.
  • Terrace neighborhood pool: Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 1-8 p.m.
Quote of Note: “I'm so happy about this,” Place 3 Council Member Janet DePuy said. “Last year was pretty miserable for all of us. ... There was a lot of confusion, and people were upset because the pool wasn't open, so this is great news.”

The details: This year, the city announced that it has filled its 114 aquatics positions for the summer, including all 79 lifeguards that were required.

City officials said maintaining off season relationships with 2022 staff as well as increased pay for various positions helped retain 62 workers. Other factors helping to fully staff aquatics positions include paying for lifeguard certifications rather than earning costs back through an incentive program and a holiday hiring push.

The cost: The daily entrance fee for each of the neighborhood pools is $2 for residents and $4 for nonresidents, with children age 3 and under getting in for free, according to city officials. Meanwhile, the Heights Aquatic Center has a $4 daily entrance fee for residents and $8 for nonresidents. Season passes are available for $30 per resident to all four neighborhood pools, or $100 per family. Nonresident neighborhood pool passes are also available for $40.

Residents can purchase season passes online. For more information, visit here.