FARMINGTON – Go jump in a lake! The only full-sized indoor public swimming pool in Franklin County, located in the University of Maine at Farmington’s Health and Fitness Center, will be closed for at least six weeks this summer for routine maintenance.

According to Tom Donaghue, director of public information for UMF, the pool will be closed from late June or early July through the end of August.

Leo Deon, assistant director of facilities management at UMF confirmed the closing, saying the pool hasn’t been drained since it was installed nearly 10 years ago and is due for work.

Deon said that although the shutdown will be tough for area swimmers, it comes at the best time of year, when there is an “abundance of natural pools outside” and other “exercise options.” One week of the pool cleaning will coincide with the center’s annual weeklong shutdown.

, scheduled for Aug.18-22 when the entire facility is closed. The pool is expected to be opened in time for the return of college students, said Donaghue.

The closing means that most kids looking for swim lessons this summer from the Farmington Recreation Department will have to look elsewhere.

Usually, the department offers lessons throughout the summer for young swimmers just getting their feet wet (level one) to advanced competitors (level seven). Lessons for swimmers in levels one and two are taught at the Hippach Field wading pool, and for levels three through seven, at the six-lane, 25-yard UMF facility.

However, because of the maintenance project at UMF’s pool, the town will only be able to offer lessons for children in beginner levels one and two this summer. In order to replace the classes lost over the summer, the UMF fitness center will offer classes for swimmers in levels three through seven this spring. However, enrollment is very limited.

The cost of the fitness center’s classes are $25 for club members and $40 for nonmembers. However, the town of Farmington will contribute $20 toward the lessons in order to defray the increased cost over the recreation department’s usual lesson fee, said department director Steve Shible.

Shible said he was disappointed that his department won’t be able to offer summer lessons for many swimmers but said that he hopes people take advantage of the town chipping in for the spring lessons.

Jeremy Hatch, the director of aquatics at the UMF Health and Fitness Center, and Shible, agreed that spring lessons are the best alternative to make up for the canceled summer lessons.

Registration for the UMF lessons will be Monday, May 19, through Friday, May 23. For more information, contact the UMF Health and Fitness Center at 778-7495 or the Farmington Recreation Department at 778-3463.



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