STERLING – A rare jewel for families in Southwest Oklahoma can be found at the Sterling swimming pool. Situated between Elgin and Rush Springs on Oklahoma Highway 17, the pool has been a source of fun for paddling pool-goers for nearly five decades.
According to the manager, the pool was constructed with Sterling Public Schools funds in the early 1970s. Although located on school grounds, the pool is not used by students or staff. And, surprisingly, Sterling has no swim team.
The pool operates mostly as a service to the community. People from the neighboring towns of Elgin, Fletcher and Rush Springs all make use of the pool’s cool waters each summer. It is open for public swim, swimming lessons, and private parties. The swim lessons are especially popular and so far this year all the slots have filled up.
Swim students have slowly acclimatized to the water and ventured to try new skills with encouragement from the life guards.The five high school and college age lifeguards are friendly, professional and all from Sterling.
With an admission price of only $2, a visit to the Sterling Public Pool is like a trip back in time. Looking at the swimmers splashing and laughing, you would never know there’s a pandemic going on around the world. Just childhood fun.
Pool Manager Karli Bridges graduated from Southwest Oklahoma State University (SWOKU) last year and began working as a paraprofessional at the school.
Despite this being her first summer as pool manager, she operates the facility with great confidence. However, the coronavirus has caused the pool to limit services. The typical capacity is 125 patrons. Now, with the requirement for social distancing, the maximum capacity is 75.
Bridges says the pool has only hit its capacity once this summer. The last day of summer public use will be July 31.
According to the Sterling Pool Facebook page, the pool is open Monday-Friday noon to 5 p.m.
Ladies Night is on Mondays from 6-7 p.m. and Night Swim (grades 7-12) is Wednesdays from 8-10 pm.
The Sterling Public Pool is located at 400 S. Tiger St. in Sterling and the phone number is (580) 678-8331.
Contact Pool Manager Karli Bridges with any questions.