Ocala Aquatic Fun Centers reduce pool hours due to lifeguard shortage

Hampton and Jervey Gantt centers will alternate operating days

OCALA, Fla. – The City of Ocala’s Aquatic Fun Centers will be reducing their hours of operation due to a statewide lifeguard shortage that has seen major impacts across Central Florida.

The reduction is effective Tuesday, July 12 for the Hampton and Jervey Gantt Aquatic Fun centers, which will alternate operating days.

[TRENDING: Intruders shoot, critically wound woman at home near Winter Park, deputies say | Tropical Storm Bonnie forms in the Caribbean | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

The full list of reduced hours for both centers is as follows:

  • Hampton Aquatic Fun Center

Wednesday, July 13 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Friday, July 15 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, July 19 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Thursday, July 21 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Saturday, July 23 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Wednesday July 27 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Friday, July 29 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Saturday, July 30 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. *

  • Jervey Gantt Aquatic Fun Center

Tuesday, July 12 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Thursday, July 14 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Saturday, July 16 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, July 20 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Friday, July 22 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, July 26 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Thursday, July 28 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Saturday, July 30 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

According to Ocala Recreation and Parks Director Preston Pooser, only 60% of positions with the centers were filled for the summer despite beginning recruitment efforts in February and offering “highly competitive pay.”

Pooser said the trend has been ongoing for years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We must follow stringent state safety guidelines that include a 25-to-1 swimmer-to-lifeguard ratio,” he said. “Due to attrition and limited availability of lifeguards to work through the remainder of the summer sessions, we are currently unable to safely staff both pools simultaneously.”

Pooser added that pool hours may continue to be adjusted should staffing availability change.

For more information, visit the City of Ocala’s website here.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:


About the Author:

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.