By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Pool Opens For Season, Welcomes Back Families
Splash Into Summer
O Pool1
Local youngsters Gracie and Ella Madru, Owen and Emma Bodeson, and Sara Peabody couldn’t wait to jump into the local pool this weekend. The swimmers showed off their tricks leaping into the deep end and splashing around to start the summer in style. Autumn Neal/The Leader

Finally, the news that families all over Oakdale have been waiting for: Royse Memorial Pool (“The Plunge”) is open for the summer.

Saturday, June 5 the pool officially opened up for its 2021 summer season. After last summer when the pool had to keep its doors closed due to COVID restrictions, patrons and lifeguards alike are thrilled to be poolside once more.

“My goal is to open safely and stay open,” city recreation coordinator Jane Finkenbine relayed. “We’re sticking to open swim, lessons, and water aerobics.”

While the pool is open, they are also facing tighter restrictions. They currently are operating at 50 percent capacity with around 100 people allowed in at a time as well as a designated entry and exit to the pool to streamline foot traffic.

“We’re asking masks be worn around the pool deck,” pool manager Kassidy Houck noted of the current guidelines. “We’ll be sanitizing every break ... and we want social distancing, one pool noodle length apart.”

These restrictions will last until at least June 15; after learning more about what California reopening will look like, current guidelines are subject to change. Finkenbine added that for the time being, patrons will be asked to shower at home and arrive at the pool ready to swim in order to decrease the number of people in locker rooms. Additionally, patrons will need to bring their own chairs to the pool.

Safety, as always, is the pool’s number one priority as they ease into the summer. Opening day, June 5, proved to be a successful reopening to the public and many were able to come cool off while keeping in line with current guidelines.

Finkenbine is also in charge of the city’s Senior Center and noted it will be undergoing some remodeling this summer including a new HVAC system, new roofing, and new solar panels. There have also been COVID-related improvements inside like automatic and hands-free utilities.

“The senior center will probably be closed the entire month of June,” she summarized. For now, they will “follow county, state, and CDC guidelines to see when it will be safe to reopen.”

Though the center has remained closed for its regular usage, it has been repurposed a few times throughout the pandemic as both a food pantry on Tuesdays for frozen lunches and as a vaccination center from January to May.

“I’m really proud of that fact, that we were able to offer that service,” Finkenbine said.

To contact the Senior Center, call (209) 845-3566. Also, families are encouraged to visit The Plunge at 555 N. Third Avenue or call at (209) 847-3571 with any questions.

Fresh from training, these are just a few of the new and returning guards that are ready to take their positions back on the stand to maintain a safe pool this summer. Autumn Neal/The Leader