Hot weather drives Burbank residents to its local pools

With temperatures expected to reach into the 90s this weekend, many Burbank residents are turning to their local pool to try and beat the heat.

The Verdugo Aquatic Facility at 3201 W. Verdugo Ave. was relatively quiet around 11 a.m. on Friday. There were about six adults swimming in the lap pool, but around the back of the facility, dozens of children and their parents eagerly waited to splash around in the activity pool, which opens at noon on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends.

Resident Tony McKlem arrived at the facility at about 10:45 a.m. so he could prepurchase passes for his children, nieces and nephews to use the activity pool. As passes would not be available for purchase until noon, he casually waited inside the main office and burned time using his smartphone.

“We’ve already played with water balloons and we have a kiddie pool at home, but always like to make a point to come out to the pools during the summer to get the kids out the house and do something different,” he said.

McKlem said that he lives about two blocks away from the McCambridge Recreation Center, but he would rather drive his family out to the Verdugo Aquatic Facility for its more family-friendly amenities.

Standing next to him was resident Hillary Williams, who was also waiting in line to purchases passes for her children and their friends. She concurred with McKlem, adding that swimming is a great way for any child or adult to cool off from the heat.

“We all grew up swimming in our local swimming pools during the summers,” Williams said. “I don’t think that’s anything that’s going to change.”

After a somewhat cool start to the month, temperatures were starting to climb this week.

Diego Cevallos, the director of both the Verdugo Aquatic Facility and McCambridge Pool, said every day this past week has been sold out, which meant that there were up to 140 people in the activity pool and a max of 618 people in the lap pool per day.

Cevallos said there are about nine lifeguards at the facility each day, with six lifeguards constantly on duty and two or three that switch out with their colleagues.

“We always have a senior lifeguard that’s overseeing the operations of the facility and an aquatics coordinator that oversees the entire operation,” he said. “We have a highly trained staff.”

Though not every resident will be making a visit to the Verdugo Aquatic Facility, Cevallos said that people should follow a few general rules as they swim at their private pool or at the beach.

“The biggest tip I would give is to have safety in mind,” he said. “Always swim next to a lifeguard and make sure your kids are water safe.”

anthonyclark.carpio@latimes.com

Twitter: @acocarpio

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