You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Pool figures dip 28 percent

Springfield attendance numbers lowest since Splash Zone opened.Weather problems plague pools across Ohio, local park leaders say.

Some of the hottest days of the summer are coming weeks after Springfield’s public pool closed for the year and recorded its lowest attendance numbers in its 7-year history.

The Splash Zone Family Aquatic Center’s attendance suffered a 28 percent decline from the year before because of inclement weather, according to National Trail Parks and Recreation District officials.

The pool, located at 300 Eagle City Road, saw 21,377 visitors this, down approximately 8,300 visitors from last year.

The pool’s budget for this year was approximately $282,000. Final financial numbers for the pool were unavailable because bills are still being paid, NTPRD Director Leann Castillo said.

However, board members aren’t expected to make significant changes because they feel it’s a service to the community.

“Every community like Springfield needs to have a public pool,” said NTPRD’s board president, Maureen Massaro. “It’s important that we provide that to the community.”

Clark County’s only other public pools are located in South Charleston and New Carlisle.

“It’s the only public pool located in this part of the county,” Castillo said.

Castillo said the weather played a huge factor in attendance numbers this summer.

“We’re 100 percent dependent on the weather,” Castillo said.

Massaro, said the decline in numbers isn’t unlike other outdoor pools in Ohio.

“It was a really tough summer weather-wise,” Massaro said.

NTPRD will likely discuss hiring a full-time pool manager, something it has never had.

“We need to look at the practices that we use,” Castillo said.

In Ohio, pools typically open on Memorial Day weekend and close in mid-August. The pool’s lifeguards, typically high school or college students, go back to school around that time.

“We lose all of our staffing,” Castillo said. “We have to have a minimum of 18 lifeguards just to open.”

The organization has tried to stay open later in the past, but once school starts and other activities begin, like fall sports, attendance drops dramatically, Massaro said.

“The swimming pool just isn’t their focus,” Massaro said.

Recent weather has included higher-than-normal temperatures. On Tuesday, highs reached into the 90s and heat indeces neared 100, forcing some Miami Valley schools to dismiss early. According to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson, Monday’s high temperature of 93 was the second hottest day of the year.

“To know the pool is sitting there is awful, but all our staff is gone,” Castillo said. “We hate to see that happen, but we have absolutely no control over it.”

Earlier this summer, unusually low temperatures and rainy weather forced the pool to close during prime hours, especially in early August.

Last year, Splash Zone did nearly $20,000 in business on the three-day opening weekend. This year, the aquatics center had barely 30 visitors that weekend and was closed on Memorial Day because of inclement weather.

The NTPRD’s 10-year, $17 million capital campaign led to the construction of the new pool. The campaign consisted of a blend of private donations and taxpayer dollars, including a now-expired one-year, half-percent sales tax. The last phase of the project, the NTPRD Chiller ice arena, is expected to open this fall.

In 2007, the $5 million pool replaced the former Springfield Family Waterworks, 715 N. Bechtle Ave.

This year, the pool offered fitness classes in the morning and evenings. Castillo said the hours had to be expanded because of the popularity, but “when it’s cold or cloudy, people aren’t thinking of the pool as an activity they want to do.”

Family events — such as Dog Days, Family Boat Races and Hawaiian Luau — brought large attendance numbers this summer, Castillo said.

“We want to do more to entice families to come check us out,” Castillo said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Elephant ranch lets visitors bathe, feed, ride elephants
Elephant ranch lets visitors bathe, feed, ride elephants

A private central Florida elephant preserve offers a unique, hands-on experience to visitors. The Elephant Ranch allows tourists to get up close and personal with the majestic animals. >> Read more trending news The Two Tails Ranch located near Gainesville lets people feed, bathe and even ride the eight elephants living at the ranch. The nonprofit...
International applicants dramatically down at area universities
International applicants dramatically down at area universities

U.S. college applications from international students are dramatically down, including requests received by area universities that rely on the tuition revenue generated by the foreign applicants. Around 39 percent of U.S. universities are reporting a decline in international applications for the fall semester while 26 percent saw no change and 35 percent...
Idaho woman blames car crash on deer-chasing Bigfoot
Idaho woman blames car crash on deer-chasing Bigfoot

A northern Idaho woman blamed a car crash with a deer on a Sasquatch sighting last week. >> Read more trending news The woman told police she collided with the deer after spotting a Bigfoot on a highway near Potlatch near the Washington border, according to NBC Montana. The woman said the Sasquatch was chasing the deer Wednesday night along the...
World War 1 exhibit opening at Clark County Heritage Center
World War 1 exhibit opening at Clark County Heritage Center

A local historical Society next month will be hosting a World War 1 themed exhibit featuring artifacts from Springfield residents. The Clark County Historical Society will be debuting their two-year exhibit Global Conflict, Local Experience: Clark County Joins the Great War at their museum at the Heritage Center, 117 S. Fountain Ave, on April 6th....
Trump now blames conservative Republicans for healthcare failure
Trump now blames conservative Republicans for healthcare failure

  President Donald Trump is now pointing the finger at an ultra-conservative Republican faction in the House for the GOP failure to rally a vote on House speaker Paul Ryan’s American Healthcare Act, scuttling the bill on Friday. >> Read more trending news But on Friday, it wasn’t the far-right Freedom Caucus, but the Democrats...
More Stories