City seeks lifeguards, funding to keep community pool open for the summer

The City of Marfa and Marfa ISD Summer Shake Up program are seeking applications for lifeguards to work the community pool this summer. Staff photo by Mary Cantrell.

MARFA — With the summer swimming season quickly approaching, the City of Marfa is seeking applications for lifeguards who are willing to be trained to help run the Marfa Activities Center pool from June to August as well as funding to help recruit and retain lifeguards. 

In a letter to the editor in last week’s The Big Bend Sentinel, Chinati Foundation Education Director Michael Roch, who also helps organize Summer Shake Up, an annual month-long summer camp for Marfa kids, taking place in June this year, said they specifically wanted to add swim lessons to the program this year and were pushing for the lifeguard search and donations to make it happen. 

“Local swim lessons have been available only sporadically over the years, and none in recent memory. Many Marfans both young and old lack this important life skill. Likewise, it’s been difficult to hire and retain lifeguards to stay for the entire summer,” wrote Roch.

Roch said the goal was to recruit a total of four lifeguards, who will be paid $13 an hour, with a supervisor earning $15 an hour. Training will be provided. Lifeguards are expected to keep the pool open all of June, July and into mid-August. If lifeguards stay through the end of the summer, they will receive a bonus up to $500, or $550 for the supervisor. 

Roch said in total the swim classes, for which they have located qualified instructors and could accommodate up to 64 children, would cost around $5,300. With $2,000 in existing funds from the Marfa Parks and Recreation board as well as $1,500 in other donations, there is $1,800 left to raise in donations to bring swim lessons to Marfa’s kids this summer. 

If you are interested in becoming a lifeguard, contact City Manager Mandy Roane, at [email protected] or (432) 729-4315.

If you are interested in donating, contact Michael Roch at [email protected]. All donations will be made to the Marfa Education Foundation (501-C3).