Boston officials say 5 city pools won’t open this summer due to staffing problems

A shortage of lifeguards and a handful of construction projects will result in the closure of 8 city pools total this summer.

Girls swim at the Leahy-Holloran Community Center in April. The Leahy-Holloran Community Center pool will remain open this summer. Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Looking for a place to cool off this summer? If you are planning on going to a city pool, double check that it’s open before you head out because a handful of city pools won’t be operating this summer. The season closures are due to construction projects, facility issues, and staffing shortages, according to Boston Centers for Youth & Families, or BCYF.

There are five pools affected by “staffing and/or facility issues” specifically, according to the BCYF, that won’t be opening this summer: Blackstone Community Center pool, the outdoor pool at Clougherty Pool, Hennigan Community Center pool, Holland Community Center pool, and the Perkins Community Center pool. 


“It’s been widely reported that there is a national lifeguard shortage and we are no exception,” a city spokesperson said in a statement. “BYCF is currently conducting mass hiring and active outreach throughout the city while also taking on needed facility upgrades to guarantee the safety of all community members seeking to swim at our locations.”

The city has hired just over half of the 60 guards needed to be fully staffed for the summer, a spokesperson told Boston.com in an email. The full-time guards the city does have will be deployed throughout the network to offer programming in an equitable manner. 

“It’s shocking that we’ve come to this point where we’re actually having to shutdown pools,” Wyatt Werneth with the American Lifeguard Association told NBC Boston

Shortages might be influenced by the cancellation of many lifeguard training classes during the pandemic, Werneth said.

A community activist who used to lifeguard in Boston, Domingo DaRosa, is calling on the city to recruit more lifeguards for future seasons, according to NBC Boston.

“The pool is the heart of the community center,” DaRosa told NBC Boston. “When you lose a pool, you lose its biggest asset.”


In addition to the staffing-related closures, three other pools and three city beaches are also not opening this summer because of ongoing or upcoming capital construction projects. Three beaches at the Curley Community Center are shuttered and will be reopening in fall 2022. The Paris Street Community Center pool and the Draper Pool will be closing for a renovation this summer. The Mattahunt Community Center pool is also closed, with a plan to reopen in summer 2023.

Almost every neighborhood that has a pool closed for the summer has another public pool open within the neighborhood, with the exception of the South End and West Roxbury.

Here are the pools open as of this month, according to BCYF: 

  • Curtis Hall Community Center Pool in Jamaica Plain
  • Draper Pool in West Roxbury
  • Flaherty Pool in Roslindale
  • Mason Pool in Roxbury
  • Charlestown Community Center Pool
  • Leahy-Holloran Community Center Pool in Dorchester
  • Mildred Avenue Community Center Pool in Mattapan
  • Quincy Community Center Pool in Chinatown


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