pools

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Nine-year-old Janiyah Johnson shows off her lung capacity.

“Count! Quickly!” she shouts at a reporter who dutifully begins counting the young girl’s time underwater. At her very best, she spends 14 seconds fully submerged.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Earlier this year, Austin announced that it would have to close Givens Pool on East 12th Street for the summer. A couple weeks later, it revealed that Mabel Davis in Southeast Austin would need to close, too. A total of four pools are closed this season. The reason? Leaking and aging infrastructure.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Paul Slutes is accustomed to less-than-enthusiastic welcomes.

At times, this often resembles a recent scene at Balcones Pool: Despondent swimmers greet him, seated on the concrete with their knees to their chins. Forty minutes earlier, a lifeguard closed the pool because of low chlorine levels. That’s why Slutes is here.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Adrian Ortega stood back from the pool at the Austin Motel on South Congress Avenue looking uncertain.

“I have done nothing like this before,” said Ortega, a former Austin lifeguard who now oversees the city’s aquatics programs, including swim teams. “It’s totally outside of my comfort zone.”

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez

The City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department will present the latest version of its Aquatics Master Plan to the public in two meetings this week.

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