Goodlettsville keeping community pool closed this summer due to lifeguard shortage

Pleasant Green Pool Closed
Posted at 4:38 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 17:38:49-04

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — There are just some days when the best way to beat the heat is to play in the spray.

"With this heat, people want to be out and they want to be getting wet," said Sarah Jennings, Director of Goodlettsville Parks and Recreation.

That may be the reason why the splash pad at Peay Park feels ready to burst, but it's also because the only other free pool in town is locked uptight.

"It’s sad," said one parent. "I went there a lot actually."

The facility itself is fine. The only reason why Pleasant Green Swimming Pool is closed is that there are not enough people willing to work there.

"We’re not sure what the issue is with getting these positions filled or why people aren’t coming out. This has been a coveted job for years," said Jennings.

It takes 12 lifeguards to fully staff the center.

"We had two applicants out of the 12 apply," she said.

According to Jennings, it wasn't from a lack of effort.

"We worked really hard reaching out to the schools, to the sports leagues, to different community members, just trying to get this out. We hosted job fairs for lifeguards this year. We just haven’t seen the applicants," she said.

Goodlettsville isn't the only one having bad luck. A recent nationwide survey found that 80% of parks directors are struggling with lifeguard staffing for a variety of reasons. Some cite the pay, others, the limited schedule. "At the YMCA we get more hours here or we can work year round at the YMCA where we can only work 9 weeks out of the summer here at the pool," explained Jennings.

Regardless of the reason, the outcome is that the Pleasant Green pool will remain closed all summer, and its future remains murky.

"People have been frustrated, we’re frustrated too," said Jennings. "So it’s having us look at aquatics and say do we want to be in the Aquatics business or do we not and where do we go from here?

City officials tell NewsChannel 5 that the ultimate fate of the Pleasant Green swimming pool will be up to the Parks and Recreation Board and the Goodlettsville Board of Commissioners.

The splash pad can remain open because it doesn't require any lifeguards on duty.