MARIETTA, Ga. - Water safety looks a little bit different these days at Atlanta Swim Academy in Marietta. From temperatures checks at the doors to face shields on the instructors, there are signs the coronavirus pandemic everywhere.
"We've done things like split our entrances. We're using an emergency exit door as our main entrance,” says owner Brad Grzelka, taking our FOX 5 cameras on a tour of the longtime Metro Atlanta swim school.
After closing down for 10 weeks, Atlanta Swim Academy is back open for classes and a full schedule of summer camps. Grzelka says the extra safety measures — including temporarily closing individual changing rooms and adding signage throughout the facility — hasn’t been so much a challenge, as an opportunity.
"I am also on the board of directors of the United States Swim School Association, which is an association which has about 400 swim schools in the U.S.,” says Grzelka. “And we've been collaborating weekly — and with some of my colleagues that I'm friends with, daily — trying to figure out best practices."
Grzelka says all 10 weeks of summer camp have already filled up — and he’s noticed that after so much time spent indoors, his young swimmers are a bit rusty. "I see the children coming in after this 10 week break, and they're timid. They've regressed, which is concerning."
Local mother Makaylla Irving says she was thrilled to get her three-year-old daughter back in the pool, especially when she saw the additional safety measures in place due to the pandemic. She says, “Everyone's like, you're bringing her back to swim class? And I'm like, they are on it!"
For more information on programs offered at Atlanta Swim Academy, click here. And click on the video player in this article for a look inside.