LINCOLN, Neb. - A problem with the paint has created safety issues and forced the immediate closure of the Highlands Pool at 5511 N.W. 12th Street in Lincoln.
Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson said the paint is prematurely flaking off or "chalking." When swimmers are in the pool the water becomes cloudy, making it difficult for lifeguards to monitor the safety of swimmers.
The Parks and Recreation Department expects the pool to reopen June 9th.
Some families that live in the area say they're bummed about the closing, especially since the pools recently opened.
"That was a real disappointment for my kids," Tracie Klosterman, who lives nearby, said, "because they really look forward to that pool.
"That's how we gauge summer is when it gets full and we watch for it to open. Now that it's not there, at least until the 9th, [the kids are] just really upset about it."
Klosterman has lived near the pool for about 13 years. She said it's part of their normal routine for her to come home in the summer, make the kids lunch and then send them off to the pool.
The pool is being drained Wednesday, and the basin will be scrubbed and pressure washed to remove loose paint. The basin will be painted later this week, and the paint needs to cure for about seven days before the pool can be refilled.
"We apologize for the inconvenience that the closure of Highlands Pool creates for pool patrons," Johnson said. "The safety of swimmers has to be a primary concern. We appreciate the patience of children and families in the Highlands neighborhood as we work to get the pool back into service as quickly as possible."
Though families understand the safety concerns, some still wonder how this problem went unnoticed and closed a pool down days into the swimming season.
"They've had plenty of time to work with this prior to the season and everything starting to open," Kerry Raile-Odle, a mom and homeowner nearby, said.
"They should've taken care of it before."
The city said pools are painted on a three-year cycle, and that environmental conditions may have caused the problems.
Families and individuals with season passes to Highlands Pool will be contacted by Parks and Recreation Department staff and offered three options:
Swimmers are encouraged to visit the two other northwest Lincoln pools during the Highlands closure - Belmont Pool at 12th and Manatt Streets, north of Belmont Elementary School, and Air Park Pool at 4000 N.W. 46th Street, north of Air Park Recreation Center.
Highlands Pool passes are accepted at the other six neighborhood and community pools. During the closure, the additional fee to use Star City Shores will be waived for those with Highlands Pool passes.