The 12-year-old slowly climbed the steps of the diving board as his friends lined the deep end to egg him on. After contemplating his dive, D’Aveon bounced his way to the end of the board, leaped into the air and tucked his knees into his chest.
After receiving approval in the form of shrieks from his friends, D’Aveon said he knew how he’d spend the rest of the summer.
“I’m going to be here every day,” he said. “I mean, it’s only a dollar!”
D’Aveon was one of several dozen who flocked to Fleming Pool Monday, the first day Augusta’s outdoor pools opened to the public.
The city maintains three outdoor pools – Fleming Pool at 1941 Lumpkin Road, Dyess Pool at 902 Ninth Street and Jones Pool at 1400 Woodson Lane – throughout the summer months, and charges $1 admission for children, $1.50 for senior citizens and $2 for adults, Aquatics Supervisor Roger Wexler said.
The pools are open from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily for open swimming, and operate on a staggered schedule in order to maintain a full staff of lifeguards at all times.
Jones Pool was also scheduled to be open Monday, but officials delayed the official opening after a pipe burst beneath the facility’s restroom building, Wexler said.
Even as workers toiled away on the plumbing, he said, children approached his car window to ask when they will be able to swim.
“They’re definitely excited,” said Wexler, adding that Fleming and Jones pools were among the most popular for outdoor swimming.
Dyess Pool is expected to open Thursday and will operate through Sunday on a weekly basis through the end of June. All pools will close Aug. 1.
The Splash Pad at the Charles H. Evans Community Center, which opened for daily use May 27, will stay open through Aug. 10 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wexler said. From Aug. 16 to Sept. 21, the pad will be open on weekends only.
Just 30 minutes into the outdoor swimming season, however, Tyis Johnson said she has finally received a much needed release. Her 3-year-old son Omari and 4-year-old daughter Kyoni clung to her neck as she waded in around the shallow end of the pool.
“This is definitely going to be a weekly thing,” she said. “The kids need to get out of the house and I could use the exercise.”
Though she wasn’t interested in swimming, Jeannette Perry said she is perfectly content sitting in the shade while her four daughters splash around.
“It’s real nice to have this in Augusta,” she said. “It gives the girls something to do rather than sit in the house or run around the neighborhood causing trouble.”