New pool changes make a splash

The Red Oak Municipal Pool will have its official opening June 8. The opening has been delayed due to mechanical issues and dealing with the aftermath of the recent tornado.
Excited to return for her second year, Manager Georgana Derr of the Red Oak City Pool has prepared to kick off the summer by extending hours, introducing new programs and decreasing prices.
“I was so excited to come back,” she said. “I just feel more confident about what we’re doing.”
Reflecting back on her first year as pool manager, Derr said her main focus for year two was on recruiting more staff.
Derr said her search for lifeguards and pool attendance workers began immediately after the 2023 season ended, and as a result, the pool was fully staffed by April 2024. Currently, eight pool attendance workers and 20 lifeguards are employed, that is, with five more on the way.
Though she mentioned an increase in wages could have contributed to further interest, Derr believes the primary contributor to the staff increase was beginning the discussion early and maintaining it year-round. She also said the city offers an incentive to these workers.
“So, if you work for us for 75 hours, we’ll reimburse your class,” Derr said. “We also give swimsuits and uniforms to people when they work for us as well.”
Now that she is fully staffed, Derr decided to alter the pool’s open hours. This summer, Open Swim will be from 1-6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and from 12-5 p.m. on weekends. Admission will be free for those 3 and under, $5 for ages 4-64, and $2 for those 65+.
“There was a lot of thought put in with the changing of the pricing,” Derr said. “I really wanted something affordable for our students.”
Another change Derr made is selling individual summer passes rather than family passes. These individual passes are $50 each. Punch cards offering 5 entries for $20 will be sold as well.
Along with Open Swim, Derr has introduced new programs and extended hours of existing pool activities. Toddler Time will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11-1 p.m. During this time, young ones can swim while the lifeguards promote literacy through storytelling. Admission costs will be the same as Open Swim.
Lap Swimming and Water Walking, which will be available for people ages 16+ and cost $1 for participation, is from 12-1 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
Finally, perhaps the program Derr is most excited for is Twilight Swim, which will take place on Fridays from 7-8:30 p.m. Pricing is consistent with Open Swim. Dinner specials will be served at the concession stand during Twilight Swim as well.
“I’m really excited to be open, to have availability, and to run some really cool programs,” Derr said.
On top of each of these new programs, Derr is hoping to teach more private swim lessons this year. For $50, one will get five lessons. In the future, Derr is also open to hosting birthday parties and helping scouts earn merit badges.
Excited about all these new changes, Derr said she is just about ready to open for business.
“I’m looking forward to watching their (the kids’) skills develop,” she said. “It’s really interesting to watch kids who start at the beginning of the summer in life jackets and then by the end of the summer, they’re going off the diving board.”
Hoping for an uptick in visitors this year, Derr said her goal is to reach 10,000 visits by the end of the summer.
For more information about renting the pool and the pool’s new programs, Derr can be reached through the Red Oak City Pool Facebook page at, or by contacting City Hall at 623-6510.

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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