Families beat the heat at the pools’ busiest day of the season

Posted at 4:55 PM, Jul 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-22 18:52:32-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Lifeguards at Briggs Park pool told FOX 17 that Tuesday was the busiest day of this swim season. Local families took to their pools to beat the heat, as lifeguards said the pool was at capacity with 350 people for the majority of the day.

According to Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation officials, the numbers of pool attendees are down this season compared to last year. As of July 21, 14,063 people have visited Grand Rapids’ pools, compared to 22,042 at this time July 2013.

Andrew Lowe is an assistant manager and lifeguard with Briggs Park Pool, he said he’s excited that the May millage passed, and enabled the city to extend the pools’ season until September 1, 2014.

“That’s really nice for the lifeguards and for the people too: of course we get more hours, and we get a longer summer job, but also I think that this is a great program for the people of Grand Rapids,” said Lowe. “This is what I did when I was younger, I grew up coming to the city pools every single day.”

City officials said it costs $4,500 to run Richmond pool per day; $3,400 to run Briggs Park pool per day; and $3,300 to run MLK Pool daily.

Lowe also stressed the importance of learning how to swim. He told FOX 17 that they made two saves Tuesday at Briggs Park pool and says this can be prevented.

“It just opens up so many more opportunities in your life if you know how to swim: you won’t be afraid to go kayaking, or go scuba diving, or there are a number of things you can do with the ability to swim,” said Lowe. “I think it’s very important to learn young.”

There is one last session of swim lessons this summer. Anyone interested can sign up online at or call Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation at (616) 456-3696.