Christine Lee, NBC 5 Irving Reporter
For the first time the indoor/outdoor pool at the North Lake Aquatic Center in Irving is keeping its roof on during the summer months. It's a move that's saving the facility a lot of money.
For the first time, the North Lake Aquatic Center is keeping its roof closed during the summer.
The pool, which was built in 1985, always took down the roof when the weather heated up.
North Lake College, the city of Irving and the Irving Independent School District mutually agreed to keep the roof up because of tight budgetary conditions.
"We're all facing budget constraints, so we had to get together and think collaboratively of reducing our operating costs," said Shannon Weaver, North Lake College interim vice president of business services.
So far, the pilot program has saved a lot of money, especially when it comes to the amount of chemicals used to maintain the facility, said Lynn Harper, the aquatic center's supervisor.
"We are saving at least 40 percent on what we would use in a typical summer," she said.
Keeping the roof also allows the aquatic center to avoid closures.
"We usually have to shut down for about a week to take the roof off and shut down for a week to put it back on, so we're gaining two weeks of programming time," Harper said.
Many visitors at the pool had requested that the roof stay in past years, so the change was welcome news to Irving resident Kamal Kapoor.
"My baby's protected from the sun -- we don't ever worry about the sunscreen, and I think it's much better than keeping it open," she said.
Lifelong swimmer Jane Peterson agreed.
"I love the fact that the canopy is over the pool because, personally, it really helps with my skin, so you don't get as freckled and as dark as you would when the cover is not up," she said.
At the end of the summer, the city, Irving ISD and North Lake College will review the results of the pilot program.