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City of Columbia pools see smiling faces for the first time in over a year

May 29, 2021 | article online

Many ventured out to pools and splash pads in the city on opening day.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The City of Columbia pools and splash pads are finally back open for the first time in over a year.

COVID-19 prevented any use of these amenities last summer, so people around the community are excited to be back out enjoying the weekend weather. 

Andrew Greytak and his three sons are making the most of the cool water at Maxcy Gregg Pool after not being able to use it last year.

“Oh it’s wonderful. It’s great to be outside, we’re really enjoying it,” Greytak said.

He said his family plans to spend many days at the pool this summer with his older sons signed up for the parks and rec swimming team.

“My youngest son, we really weren’t able to work on swimming at all last summer so he’s a little behind so we’re getting him some practice,” he said.

The capacity for the pool is 60, but only about 25 were there Saturday morning. The pool asks you to limit your visit to two hours so everyone has the opportunity to swim.

COVID-19 precautions were displayed for visitors, along with lifeguards in their posts to ensure safety.

“I like the pool because it’s nice and relaxing and I love the water,” 27-year-old Katelyn Mitchell said.

She is a part of Community Options an organization for adults with special needs. 

“My favorite part about the pool is to swim and go underneath the water!” Mitchell said. 

Octaviann McGaughey, leader of the group, said she missed being able to swim last year with her girls. 

“It was disappointing because we take them every year so we had to do stuff at the house like water fights but it wasn’t the same.”

But this summer, everyone is back! Ashton was evens celebrating his 13th birthday.

“Today’s my birthday and I’m happy to be back at the pool!” Ashton said.

And local resident, Jason was enjoying the refreshing water too, “It’s easy for me because I stay real close so I’ll call and be like ‘ok so when are y’all open?’”

The city has changed its operating hours a little from the past. So make sure to check out their website for all of the specific guidelines. 

The city has two pools, Maxcy Gregg on Park Circle and Greenview on David Street, that cost $3 for children and $4 for adults. The city also has eight spray pools that are free.