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Ocean Pines pool events, classes, improvements planned

Members of the Ocean Pines Association’s Aquatics Advisory Committee are committed to providing a well-maintained and eventful pool experience for the community’s residents with a series of events, classes and improvements planned.

Yacht Club pool

The Yacht Club pool in Ocean Pines is pictured.
File photo

By Tara Fischer, Staff Writer

With summer officially in full swing, the Ocean Pines Association’s Aquatics Advisory Committee is committed to providing a well-maintained and eventful pool experience for the community’s residents.

Aquatics Committee Director Gary Miller said, after taking a hiatus from regular meetings over the winter, that the group resumed meetings in February to discuss new proposals and priorities to bring to the OPA Board of Directors. The advisory panel is waiting to hear back from the governing body about a few recommendations.

Miller said the committee submitted proposed projects to the board during the budget process and recently resubmitted the ones they believed would have the most impact this summer. For instance, the group recommended that the association reinstate evening classes at Mumford’s Landing pool.

“Before COVID-19, a popular aerobics class was held at 6 p.m. at Mumford’s Landing with an additional charge for participants that covered the cost of having a lifeguard present,” Miller said. “This was a popular class.”

The committee also proposed a “Sunset and Cocktails” event at the Yacht Club pool. The occasion would be on a weekday night and cater to the adult crowd.

“Just like Family Fun Night on Wednesdays, dogs and hamburgers are geared toward kids and families, the Sunset and Cocktails would have specialty cocktails and food items geared toward singles, couples with no kids living at home, and seniors,” the aquatics advisory committee chair said.

The Sunset and Cocktails event was proposed at the June 15, 2024, OPA Board of Directors meeting. Committee liaison and board vice president Stuart Lakernick presented the group’s written proposal, which argued the event would “appeal to singles, couples, and retirees in our community while remaining inclusive to our families and charge a fee that would cover the cost of lifeguards and other staff while remaining cost-effective for attendees.”

Officials had reservations about the proposal.

“It sounds really good; it sounded good the last three years when I heard it, but if it’s adults only, we cannot do it,” OPA General Manager John Viola said. “I do have from counsel in the past that it was recommended not to do it.”

The idea was passed onto the Ocean Pines attorney to provide an opinion on its legality. Miller said the committee sent clarification on the intent of both projects and is waiting to hear back from the board.

The advisory group is also looking at potential improvements. The Sports Core pool has a lot of equipment stored around the perimeter of the deck, and the committee has suggested moving the items to a storage shed to alleviate the tripping hazard and boost the atmosphere.

“The Swim and Racquet pool could use an upgrade, including safety rails in the stalls,” Miller said. “The sidewalk leading from the front parking lot to the front pool entrance is also in bad shape.”

Additionally, a member complained that the ladder steps at the Yacht Club pool were slippery and difficult to use. The committee chair said they brought the feedback to the board’s attention and have since been told that a special “no-slip” tape was ordered to rectify the issue.

Some current events at the pools include Family Fun Night each Wednesday at the Yacht Club and swim lessons, lap swims, and aerobic classes at Sports Core.

The committee is dedicated to ensuring the pool areas remain in pristine condition.

“The most important thing residents can do to maintain the pools is pick up any trash they happen to see, especially around their tables and chairs, before they leave,” Miller said.  “They also need to be patient with the staff and listen to the lifeguards, especially when their kids misbehave or run around the pool deck.”