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Smithville Pool Back in Operation
Smithville Pool
Pool manager Jeania Cawthorn poses with some of this year’s newly trained lifeguards at the Smithville Pool this year.

The Smithville Municipal Swimming Pool is back in operation after major renovations and newly trained lifeguards. With the opening, the pool has some new hours and special days for local kids.

In 2023 the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen heard from Tiera Nash of A Cut Above Outdoors, LLC in Cookeville, who submitted a bid of $95,700 to do the repairs to the pool. Nash said the pool had deteriorated to the point that it should not be opened unless some further renovations were made.

Among improvements were sixteen lights that were changed from 220-volt lights to low voltage. The new lights are LED so no one can be electrocuted. New tile was installed and the steps that go into the kiddie pool and cracks in the pool were repaired.

The city has also addressed better pay for lifeguards, an issue that kept the pool from opening in 2022. Smithville Aldermen voted to increase the pay of lifeguards from $12 to $15 per hour, and for the city to pay up front the $230 fees for lifeguards to attend classes to become certified. Lifeguards, or their parents, would be required to sign an agreement to reimburse the city for cost if the lifeguards were to fail the required test or resign before the season is over.

Smithville Golf Course and Pool manager Jeania Cawthorn said that at least 15 lifeguards are needed and certification classes are being offered. “We need at least 15 lifeguards before we can open even for three or four days a week. Right now, I am begging for lifeguards.”

Smithville Golf Course and Pool manager Jeania Cawthorn the pool will be open this year an hour earlier during weekdays. The new hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. This year’s admission is $5.00 per person, but children aged 4 and younger will get in free. Groups can also book pool parties. Report Card Day is set for Friday, May 31.

“Every child of school age who lives in DeKalb County will be admitted to the pool free on Friday, May 31. Youngsters aged 13 and younger must have supervision. For those not familiar with the meaning of Report Card Day, it’s a free swim day for kids but they do not have to bring their report card or any form of identification. The pool capacity inside the gate is 267,” she said.

Newly trained lifeguards will be manning the pool area this year as well. “We started off the summer with 23 lifeguards signed up, but are already down to 17, and three of them are still taking their certification classes. If they don’t pass, we’re down to 14 but as long as we have at least eight lifeguards a day we can operate. I want to thank the lifeguards who have stepped up this year and for the extreme training they have done. They work hard,” Cawthorn said.