COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – Memorial Day is right around the corner, so a lot of pools across the Valley will be opening up for the summer season.

We stopped at Firestone Park in Columbiana to see how they plan to keep people safe from COVID-19 while also getting back to a normal pool season.

Last year, Firestone Park’s pool was open, but only for Columbiana residents. Even though they were still open, the pandemic hit them hard.

“COVID kept people at home and we found out that there is a lot more home pools here in Columbiana. So we didn’t have good attendance but we are glad we did it. But we are glad we’re open for everybody this year,” said Terry Shaffer, Firestone Park’s pool manager and superintendent.

With opening to the public this year, there are rules in place to keep people safe while also having a good time.

“This year, it is basically wear a mask once you get to the gate. You walk through the building, once you’re outside and on your own, then the mask can come off, naturally, in the water. We ask you to stay in your own groups if possible and we’ll have lines and everything set up for families like we did last year. We had painted lines in the grass,” Shaffer said.

During the downtime, Shaffer said they were able to do some much-needed renovations to improve the pool even more.

“A new roof, new stucco sides. We have brand new tennis courts, pick-up ball, basketball courts are opening here shortly. So a lot going on here at Firestone Park,” Shaffer said.

But Shaffer says even though last year wasn’t the best year, some good things came out of it and he’s just happy to be getting things back on track to normalcy. And the public is just as excited!

“Our Facebook page started exploding this week. I updated everything to 2021 that we’re opening and selling pool passes, pool parties, swimming lessons. So we’re raring to go,” Shaffer said.

The pool opens on May 29.

Shaffer is retiring, so this will be his last year. He’s inviting everyone to come out and celebrate his last season!