Opening of Hagerstown's public swimming pool gets cool reception

May 24, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN -- Saturday was opening day at the Claude M. Potterfield Swimming Pool, but one had to look hard to find anyone actually in the water.

Even the head lifeguard wasn't planning to get wet unless, of course, it was absolutely necessary.

"There are about a half-dozen people here," Al Volkening said shortly after the noon opening. "I didn't get in."

Some did, but not for long.

The sun was warm, but there was a steady breeze. The water temperature? That was definitely not to be confused with bath water.

A veteran of five years at the pool, Volkening said once school is out for the summer, the hours at the pool on Frederick Street will be Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.


Among those enjoying the experience Saturday, if not a lot of time in the actual water, were Maria Crombie and her three children.

"We love it up here in Washington County," Crombie said. She and her family moved from Montgomery County, Md., about 17 months ago and have been busy sampling what the area has to offer.

Her three teenagers might not have done a lot of swimming, but they were enjoying the small park outside the gates.

Watching them on the playground equipment, Crombie walked about along the bridge over a stream.

"We came here for the schooling," Crombie said of Washington County. With two children at South Hagerstown High School and one at E. Russell Hicks Middle School, she is confident she made the right decision.

In addition to Saturday's foray to the pool, Crombie and her children went to City Park, Antietam National Battlefield and the Potomac River.

"The family is now looking forward to the (Western Maryland) Blues Fest," Crombie said. "We missed it last year."

Pool hours

The Claude M. Potterfield Swimming Pool at Staley Park on Frederick Street in Hagerstown currently is open on weekends only, including Memorial Day. The pool will be open daily beginning June 5.

Regular public swimming hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.

The last day of the pool season is Labor Day.

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