After offering evening swimming hours at the Pahoa Pool for a few days, County Parks and Recreation has abruptly shut down the program for now.
“Until further notice, Monday, January 26 will mark the last of the nighttime open-swim sessions offered at the P?hoa Community Aquatic Center. Lighting and other safety enhancements are needed before the pilot program will be reinstated,” read a Parks and Rec press release, in part.
Earlier this month, the County had instituted evening hours, keeping the pool open until 8 p.m. three nights a week. Starting immediately, it will begin following the previous normal operating ours of 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (4:30 closure on weekends).
The main reason for the change, according to department spokesperson Jason Armstrong, was that the pilot evening program had revealed lighting problems in some areas of the pool.
“The lifeguards have be able to see the patrons in order to ensure their safety,” he said.
Armstrong said that he knew of no specific incident that had provoked the sudden stop of the program.
“We just implemented the program this month. We tried it out, and we saw some areas that needed to be improved upon” he said. When it was discovered that certain areas were inadequately lighted, “Rather than continue with those problems in place, we thought we’d stop and fix the problems.”
When the evening hours can resume will depend on how fast the department can find funding for the extra lighting. Armstrong said he couldn’t estimate how long that would take.
“We’re looking for the money and we’re hopeful of finding it. We’re about halfway through the through the fiscal year and this is not something we’d budgeted for,’ he said. “We’d have to figure what the cost is going to be, find funding and then go through the procurement in order to obtain the improvement. “