By REBECCA ISENHART
NISKAYUNA — When summer temperatures climb, Niskayuna residents don’t break a sweat. They drive over to the town pool and dive right in.
Even as a thunderstorm approached on a recent summer day, all the plastic tables had been claimed with colorful beach towels, and kids lined up to wait their turn to leap from one of the two diving boards. Still, a lifeguard noted the day was a little slower than usual.
During the regular summer season, the pool on Aqueduct Road is open all afternoon and into the evening. It opens at noon on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends, and closes at 7:45 p.m. every day until Aug. 10, when the pool hours get shorter, just like the days themselves.
But Niskayuna swimmers — only town residents are allowed to use the pool — won’t have any regrets when the leaves start to turn. Many of them make it a point to make a splash nearly every day.
When 6-year-old Lauryn Dorr’s dad won’t take her to the town swimming pool, she says the magic words:
“Mom, can you take me?”
It pretty much always works.
“She has lessons every morning, then we stay for the afternoon and swim,” said Mark Dorr in between lifeguarding his two daughters. Lauryn’s sister, Sydney, is 3.
Visits to the town pool are the girls’ favorite part of summer, a fact that was evident as they scrambled out of the pool repeatedly to walk to the edge, hold hands, and jump right back in with a satisfying splash.
Theresa Slovak hopes her youngest daughter, Ava, just 4 months old, will feel the same way.
“I’m trying to get her acclimated,” she said, bouncing her infant and adjusting her hat to keep the sun from her eyes.
Ava is the youngest of five. “The other four are waterbugs,” Slovak said. Her 10-, 9-, 8-, and 7-year-olds love to play in the water and hang out with their friends, who are usually, predictably, at the pool.
Liz Slavin, a lifeguard and manager at the Niskayuna Town Pool, says watching the younger children play in the pool is one of her favorite parts of summer.
“A lot of kids grow up around the pool,” Slavin said. She speaks from experience — she did, and so did several other employees there. Many get summer jobs at the snack bar until they’re old enough to take lifeguarding tests, then work at the own pool throughout college.
She enjoys the sense of community that comes not just from families bringing children on play dates, but also from swim team practices at 7:30 a.m.
“Lifeguards, coaches, they were all swimmers as kids,” she said.