Spring-Klein-area swimming pools respond to state's gradual reopening

Following a May 6 executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott, swimming pools are now able to operate at 25% capacity. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Following a May 6 executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott, swimming pools are now able to operate at 25% capacity. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)

Following a May 6 executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott, swimming pools are now able to operate at 25% capacity. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)

Following Gov. Greg Abbott’s May 6 executive order allowing swimming pools to operate at 25% capacity, Spring- and Klein-area homeowners associations are evaluating reopening processes for the upcoming summer season.



Some communities, such as the Cypressdale subdivision in Spring, have decided to reopen pool services, Cypressdale HOA Treasurer Cherise Scally said.



According to Scally, the subdivision opened the neighborhood pool last weekend but had to cancel its annual Memorial Day pool party as a result of the coronavirus-related restrictions.



“With all the regulations that are changing daily, it's been a constant struggle,” Scally said. “I didn't want to cancel anything or postpone the opening unless we had no choice, and of course, we had no choice.”



While pool passes are now on sale for residents, Scally said the area can only accept 35 patrons at a time, in accordance with the governor’s guidelines. Additionally, the subdivision has had to increase staff operations to regularly sanitize restrooms and other area surfaces and has had to remove pool furniture.



“Basically, all we've had to worry about is the sanitation of the bathrooms, making sure [patrons] bring their own furniture—their own chairs, whatever they need—and shutting down the baby pool and the slide.”



Following Gov. Abbott’s May 26 announcement allowing waterparks to reopen under Phase Two of the state’s gradual reopening plan, Scally said the subdivision looks forward to opening the pool’s water slide amenity.

Other community organizations, however, have decided to forego reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.



In a statement, the Greenwood Forest HOA board announced the neighborhood swimming pool would remain closed for the 2020 pool season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.



“While studies show that chlorinated pool water kills germs, according to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], the COVID-19 virus can survive on hard surfaces for several days,” the statement read. “Therefore, hand sanitizer stations would need to be purchased and placed throughout the pool area, pool furniture would be removed and the diving board would be closed.”



According to the CDC, while chlorine acts as a disinfectant when added properly to swimming pool water, the chemical can take a few minutes to kill most germs.



According to Kenneth Latimer, Greenwood Forest HOA board president, additional staff would also be required to properly sanitize surfaces, such as hand rails and restrooms areas, putting them at risk of contracting the virus.



“Taking the medical, the safety, the financial things all into mind, we took what we thought was a well-thought-out but conscious approach and decided to close for the year,” Latimer said.



Royce Shamblin, general manager of Southwest Pool Management, said his company has seen around 20-30 swimming pools open in the Houston area—around 50% of the business’s total clientele. Shamblin said his company has had to implement additional measures to encourage coronavirus safety amid the reopenings.



“There's additional signage that's having to be placed at the pools,” Shamblin said. “There are capacity percentages. ... They're still following social distancing inside the pool area, recommending that people wear masks even though we can't enforce that.”



As a result of the pandemic, however, Shamblin said the pool management company saw a slowdown in lifeguard applications in April.



“It started out very slow as far as applications for the year, and of course, we have returning lifeguards who come back every year to work the summers, but as far as new applicants go, it started out very slow, which made us question how many pools we were going to actually be able to staff,” Shamblin said.



Despite the initial slowdown, Shamblin said the pool company has not had to deny business yet, and as community water parks reopen, Shamblin said he expects more swimming pools to follow suit.



“I foresee within the next couple of weeks, we'll probably be running at almost full capacity,” Shmablin said.

By


MOST RECENT

The text of General Order No. 3, which Gordon Granger issued from Galveston in June 1865 to explicitly liberate enslaved Black Texans, runs across the bottom of the mural. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘I am filled’: Houston-Galveston area celebrates first Juneteenth as federal holiday

See how local policymakers, historians, artists and philanthropists honored the Juneteenth holiday at its birthplace with the dedication of a 5,000-square-foot mural.

The convenience store chain is known for its Slurpees and self-serve soda fountains. (Courtesy 7-Eleven)
7-Eleven, Laredo Taco Company now open at Hwy. 249, Spring Cypress

The new location features a fueling station, car wash and beer cave.

The Texas Central rail connection from Dallas to Houston will feature a bullet train similar to this one. (Courtesy Texas Central Partners/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court declines to review high-speed rail case, freeing company up to use eminent domain

Texas Central, the company looking to build a 236-mile high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas, has been given a big win in an ongoing legal battle over whether the company is legally recognized as a "railroad company" under state law.

There will be various events across the Houston area celebrating the Fourth of July, including League City's Fireworks Extravaganza. (Courtesy of League City)
12 Fourth of July weekend events, celebrations to attend in the Greater Houston area

Here are 12 Fourth of July weekend events throughout the Houston region.

Harris County Precinct 4 hosts a summer movie night event at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve June 28. (Courtesy Harris County Precinct 4)
'The Office' trivia, Father's Day fishing: 15 events, things to do in Spring and Klein in June, July

Here are a few events and things to do in the Spring and Klein community throughout June and July.

This area is flood-prone due to the flat and slow draining topography and clay soils that do not readily soak up excess rainfall. (Courtesy Harris County Flood Control District)
Flood Control District presents three versions of TC Jester Stormwater Detention Basin, seeking public input

The recommended basin would hold about 300 million gallons of stormwater.

ribbon cutting
Nearly $400M project to boost Houston-area water supply by up to 500M gallons a day

The project has been in development for over 50 years and broke ground in 2017.

Lone Star College has been approved for additional baccalaureate programs following House Bill 3348 being signed June 16. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lone Star College approved for additional baccalaureate programs

Lone Star College can now have up to five bachelor programs, up from its current three.

Following Hurricane Harvey, debris lined the streets in many parts of Harris County. (Danica Lloyd/Community Impact Newspaper)
After Department of Housing and Urban Development denies request, Texas General Land Office drafting plan to subaward Harris County $750M for flood mitigation

The Texas General Land Office now plans to subaward Harris County flood mitigation funding after the county was left out of recent Hurricane Harvey relief funds.

Spring ISD announced June 16 that the district would no longer be offering its virtual academy for the 2021-22 school year. (Courtesy Canva)
Spring ISD nixes virtual academy for the 2021-22 school year

Many school districts throughout the state have had to alter or cancel their plans to provide distance learning in the coming school year after House Bill 1468, which would have ensured funding for districts for each student enrolled in online-only classes, failed to pass in the 2021 legislative session.