Jones Pool in Lufkin just opened this month, but now the community-wide hangout is temporarily closed. The reason: no lifeguards. Two of them quit after being punched in the face by an unruly swimmer.
Don Hannabus, director of Parks and Leisure Services, said, "We were getting somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred [visitors a day] and last year we only would have 20 or 30 people swim here when we had Winston Pool open."
The pool will reopen sometime this summer, but until then, both kids and adults are finding other ways to stay cool in the sweltering East Texas heat.
"I go to the playground instead of swimming in the pool or I go to the water park," said Kemyia Deason."
Abigayl Velasquez said, "I'll probably go to another pool [and] swim there."
Darion Deason said he wishes the pool would reopen because "everybody gets in the pool and has lots of good times."
Jones Pool was open less than two weeks before it shut down. The search is on for new lifeguards who are trained and qualified for the job.
"We currently have job postings at Texas Workforce," said Hannabus. "We also have [the positions posted] on our web site and we're encouraging anyone that has the certification to be a lifeguard to contact our human resource department."
For a while, there was talk of shutting down Jones Pool and turning it into a 'spray and play.' Instead, the city renovated it, making the pool better and safer for kids and their families.