Public pools in Baltimore will stay open until Labor Day, three weeks longer than expected, the city Department of Recreation and Parks announced Wednesday.

The extension is one of several efforts the city has made to make pools accessible this summer. A new splash pad opened in May at the Solo Gibbs Recreation Center, and daily pool operations were extended by two hours during recent Code Red heat conditions.

The city offers swim lessons, water aerobics and special events, such as movies at Druid Hill Park pool on Fridays, said Ernest Burkeen, director of the Department of Recreation and Parks. The extended swimming days are part of the city Aquatics Division's efforts this year to expand opportunities, including the addition of Camp Variety for adults and children with disabilities.

"By expanding operations, we have already seen an increase of approximately 20,000 users over 2012," Burkeen said.

Pools were opened May 25.

For more information about aquatic programs and pool hours, call 410-396-3838.

ywenger@baltsun.com

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