HARRISBURG — Pool party at the Fettermans'!
But you may have to bring your own lifeguards.
Pennsylvania’s second lady, Gisele Fetterman, announced Friday that she wants to open the swimming pool at the now-uninhabited lieutenant governor’s residence outside Harrisburg. The focus, she said, will be on bringing in camps and other groups that work with children who wouldn’t otherwise have regular access to a pool — and help teach them about water safety in between some of the summer fun.
“If my children can swim in that pool, so should every child in Pennsylvania,” Gisele Fetterman wrote in a statement, adding that the program was inspired by a history of racial segregation in swimming pools and clubs, and a high number of drowning deaths among black children.
The program will give kids access to the state-owned, 30-by-40-foot pool as well as a “rustic” cabana and restrooms on the grounds of the residence, which is at Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County.
But groups will have to provide their own lifeguards and transportation, according to the lieutenant governor’s office. Camps or other organizations will also have to arrange for swim teachers to teach water safety and skills.
If the organizations can’t pay the lifeguard fees, they can request funding from a $2,500 fund donated by Middle Atlantic Swimming, a competitive swim organization in Pennsylvania.
If any safety issues were to arise at the pool, the organizations using it would be legally responsible, said Christina Kauffman, Fetterman’s spokesperson.
The pool at the residence was renovated this year to meet accessibility standards under the Americans With Disabilities Act, and includes a lifeguard stand and safety signs. Old diving boards were removed and the bottom of the pool was painted blue to make it easier for lifeguards to see swimmers underwater.