ALBANY, Ga. -- Oppressive heat, choking humidity and swarms of fearlessly aggressive gnats define Southwest Georgia summers.
To battle the heat, city officials have decided to open one of the city's most popular public pools May 23 and are already registering people for swimming lessons, Albany Recreation and Parks Aquatics Directors Robyn Fink says.
"Swimming gives kids a positive and healthy outlet and way to play outside in a supervised environment, without roasting in the heat," Fink said.
Fink says that this year the department is offering a Carver Pool & Spray Park Season Pass for $20 for those 13 and over and $10 for those 12 and under.
For $5 more, pool patrons can 16 classes of swimming lessons or adult water aerobics.
"If people get the pass compared to paying our regular fees, they'll save $10 to $20 for the summer and can come whenever they want to as many sessions as they want," Fink said. "It's really a good deal especially if you plan on coming a lot."
In addition to the new park passes, Carver pool's regular fees, 25 cents for visitors under 12 years old, and 50 cents for those 13 or older, will remain in place.
Children between 3 and 7 years old must be accompanied by an adult, Fink said.
For those interested in swimming lessons, Fink says the charge is $10 per participant per session, unless the participant qualifies for free or reduced lunches, in which case the fee is $5.
Those who pass the various levels will be given a t-shirt and a certificate, she said.
"I think it's important for kids to take swim lessons," Fink said. "Not only because it makes them feel more confident in the water, but it lowers the chances for accidents around the water which helps keep everyone safe."
Regular pool hours are 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m., 3:45 p.m.-5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Sundays- Tuesdays and Thursdays-Fridays.