The Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority has exciting news as warm weather comes to the area again: all of its pools and splash pads are expected to open this Memorial Day weekend except the Nancie Blewitt Swim Complex at Bowers Park Pool, the largest public pool in Tuscaloosa.

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"At this point, we do not plan to open Bowers Park Pool this summer," said Becky Booker, PARA's Public Relations Manager. "The remaining outdoor pools and splash pads typically schedule seasonal opening for Memorial Day weekend."

The 30-year-old facility at Bowers Park can accommodate up to 250 swimmers at once, and the need for renovations there combined with a shortage of lifeguards on the PARA payroll meant it didn't make sense to reopen it this year.

Booker also shed some light on what restrictions PARA plans to ease now that the statewide mask mandate been allowed to expire. Indoor PARA facilities will continue to operate at a 50% capacity, while outdoor facilities will return to 100% capacity.

Visitors and program participants are no longer required to wear a mask at indoor PARA facilities. Temperature checks will also no longer be required for entry, although stations will remain in place for guests who want to use them.

Booker said PARA still strongly encourages guests to wear a mask and continue practicing social distancing at these facilities.

Any sick individuals are asked to not visit PARA facilities until they recover.

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