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Baker is ready to make a splash for the summer.

Almost.

The swimming pool on the Baker High School campus has gone through repairs and cleaning.

Now, it is being filled with water.

That alone could take two to three weeks according to the manager, Darby Waldbillig.

Not only does the pool have to be refilled, but the water in it would have to be treated before it can be open for use.

“As far as I can tell, draining the pool hasn’t been done in about ten years,” Waldbillig said. “We had some patches here in the shallow end and some plaster that needed to be fixed. It was time to replace the drain covers down in the deep end. That needs to be done every ten years,” she added.

A Bismarck company (Associated Pools) was used and the pool project was able to fit in its schedule, she explained.

“It certainly is not normal for us to drain the pool entirely to do any sort of repairs. It was a one-off. It worked for them (the company) and we had some stuff that needed done.

“It just sort of happened to work out. Nothing related to school, summer or anything like that,” she said.

As to the guidelines, Waldbillig said the complex is waiting on information from the governor’s office.

“But for right now, we can pretty much be open as normal. We will ask our lap swimmers and anyone else in the pool, kids included, to stay six feet apart.

“We will have the slide going and people can come in for lap swims once we are open. Kids will be able to come in and play swim. It should be fairly normal. We do have a max capacity in the pool of like 25, but I don’t think we have ever had that many people in the pool at once.”

She added that the 25-person capacity is under current COVID rules. The pool’s normal capacity is about 100 people.

She also said that the current capacity is what the Public Health officials are comfortable with.

When it comes to swimming lessons, the pool will probably be open for swimming lessons sometime in July, depending on the restrictions in place by the governor at that time, Waldbillig said. “It is going to be pretty difficult to run our classes like normal. We will have some type of swim lessons this summer, we just don’t know what that is going to look like just yet.”

“Under Phase 2, all aquatic classes are limited, just like youth activities, to up to ten participants,” she said. “As far as our aquatic classes, we are waiting for further instructions at this point.”

There will be 13 lifeguards staffing the pool when it opens, Waldbillig said. She noted that there will be three on duty at any time so they could rotate. “We want to make sure that they are staying focused.”

When it comes to people using the slide, there will be only a few changes, she said. “It will still be one at a time on the slide. “Really, the only difference will be spacing. We don’t want them to congregate at the top to wait for their turn, so we’ll make sure they are kind of staggered downstairs instead of waiting at the top.”

“Please be aware we will have very low water pressure over the next couple days while we refill the pool. Please hold down for a few extra seconds while flushing, be patient with the water fountain and shower at home,” the center posted on its Facebook site May 28.

Earlier in May, the complex also announced on Facebook the rules they would be operating under until they would be updated.

“If you are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms, please do not enter the facility.

•All members will need to check in and out at the front desk when they enter and leave the facility. When checking in, you will be asked to stand back from the counter as staff signs you in and verifies your membership status.

•Each room has a posted maximum capacity, and staff will be enforcing room capacities as well as enforcing six feet of spacing between individuals using equipment.

•Every other cardio machine will be closed for use, and members will be asked to keep a one machine distance from other users in the machine weight room.

•Now more than ever, please be sure you are wiping down all of your equipment after your workout. Staff will be stationed throughout the facility and will be sanitizing equipment, however you are the first line of defense. Detailed sanitizing and cleaning procedures have been created for the entire complex to ensure all surfaces are frequently sanitized,” the Facebook post explained

If people have any questions, please contact Darby Waldbillig at 406-778-3210.

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