Mounger’s Gates: Closed Until Late June

Moungers Gates: Closed Until Late June

With warm weather coming, many people are eagerly awaiting Mounger pool’s opening as they walk by after school. Unfortunately, according to Seattle Parks and Rec spokesperson Bill Dougherty, Mounger’s opening day this year is scheduled for June 24. However, Mounger’s Facebook page still says there is a possibility of it opening in May. 

 Mounger used to open fully in mid-May, but why the delay this year? Dougherty explains that it’s because of a staffing shortage, specifically with lifeguards. “In the past, many college students returning from schools were back in town by mid-May and were ready to work. At present, we do not have the number of college students available to work in May. Since the pandemic, we lost most of our summer lifeguards and are working to rebuild our work force.”  

Currently it takes 400 lifeguards to keep all the public pools and beaches open during the summer. Last year, however, there were less than 200 qualified lifeguards on duty during the summer. If there aren’t enough lifeguards, not all the pools can open. That is exactly what happened; last year Medgar Evars, Evans, and Queen Anne pools were closed during the summer. Basically, Seattle is in deep need of lifeguards this summer.  

Mounger is a very popular pool. Per Seattle Parks and Rec, on a typical summer day, Mounger could average up to 847 people, that is the highest average of all of Seattle’s public pools. Even in May, Mounger used to draw on average 348 people per day. Mounger also generates the highest revenue of all the public pools during the summer months. 

Seattle Parks and Rec is trying to rebuild its lifeguard staff. They have offered free lifeguard training at the indoor pools all throughout the year. Still, there’s a problem as Dougherty explains. “These new staff members are high school students for the most part.  Seattle Public Schools is not done this year until June 30 so these new staff are unavailable to support opening Mounger in May.”  

 According to Mr. Miller, one of Blaine’s PE teachers, Mounger used to be a resource for Blaine when it opened in the spring. Pre-COVID, the Blaine PTA sponsored swim lessons at Mounger for 2nd through 5th graders during the school day. It probably won’t start again soon though because of the delayed opening. Swimming has never been a part of Middle School PE at Blaine, but it certainly would be fun!