With temperatures down, suburban Pittsburghers skip the pools

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For Anita Krisovenski of Findlay, summers are not complete without making several trips with her 12-year-old son, Kenny, to Hankey Farms swimming pool on Steubenville Pike in North Fayette.

“A trip to the swimming pool always makes it feel like summer,” Ms. Krisovenski said. “But this summer, I have not gone at all. It has not been swimming pool weather.”

She said a friend who usually purchases a summer pass did not get one because of the weather.

Throughout the airport corridor, attendance is down, despite the fact the Labor Day weekend is fast approaching and outdoor swimming pools soon will close for the year.

Pool managers and lifeguards blame the cooler than normal temperatures, especially those this month, for the sagging attendance. It has been either too rainy or just too cold for many people to venture to their neighborhood pool, they said.

“I really believe the weather has been a big factor,” said Aaron Crown, assistant manager of the Crafton swimming pool. “We’ve had some crowded days early on. But in August it has been slow.”

Statistics from the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh suggest that Mr. Crown’s observation is on the money. During the last five days of July, temperatures were below the historical average. July 29 was the coldest day with a high of 67 degrees. By comparison, the date’s historical average temperature is 82 degrees, the weather service said.

Temperatures for the first three weeks of August rebounded a little. Five days this month have been above average, according to the weather service. Still, the temperature has not yet climbed above 90 degrees this month, making it the 10th coolest August on record.

Daily attendance at Hankey Farms swimming pool averages anywhere from 25 to 30 people a day, said Derek Schade, assistant pool manager, adding that some days are better than others during the summer.

“We’ve been down a little,” Mr. Schade said. “But we are still a local pool.”

Maria Lydon, a lifeguard at Wilson Park swimming pool in Green Tree, said daily attendance is around 45 people. That total has dropped off somewhat, she said.

“We were pretty crowded in June, but those were mainly 80 degree days,” Ms. Lydon said.

Ms. Krisovenski said even though her son is about to start school, she is not tempted to squeeze in a trip to the swimming pool.

“My son is just not interested,” Ms. Krisovenski said.

Suzanne Elliott is a freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.

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