It is not unusual to see Jackie Omar lounging by the Springlakes Community Pool on a sunny summer day.
For several years, the Bel Air Elementary School teacher has joined the pool and brings at least some of her three children and two stepchildren a few times a week.
"It is so hot. The temperature is so uncomfortable for them to go outside and enjoy anything," the Augusta resident said of her children, ages 10 to 16. "They want to sit inside and play on the computer and do computer games and video games."
Omar said paying the $410 membership fee for usage of the pool all summer as a nonresident of Springlakes is worth the money. The kids get to hang out with their friends and are not trapped in the house, and Omar gets a chance to relax in a lounge chair and work on her tan.
People who do not have a pool at home can purchase memberships to several Columbia County pools. Some are neighborhood pools such as Springlakes, The Club at Jones Creek and The Villages at Rivershyre.
Summer memberships usually include the entire family and expire when the pools close for the summer, usually in early to mid-September.
Jesslynn Burr, a lifeguard, swim teacher and coach at the Jones Creek pool, said a family membership costs $495 and includes use of the pool and tennis courts.
Most people purchase summer memberships for their children to enjoy.
"Usually there's a lot of families with younger children all the way up to 18," Burr said.
Summer memberships to the Rivershyre pool cost $400 per family and include a $10 concession card.
Staci Johnson, the chairwoman of the pool at Pinebrook at Farmington on Hereford Farm Road, said a family membership for nonresidents costs $400.
Of the 150 families who joined the pool so far, only about 30 are nonresidents, she said.
"It is tough when you don't have (a pool) in your community in the middle of the summer," Johnson said. "We're happy to welcome any new members."
Those looking for a cool dip on hot days also can enjoy summer memberships at pools other than those owned and run by homeowners associations.
Craig Jones, the owner of Petersburg Racquet Club, said a summer membership to the pool costs $475. The club, like many other pools, offers swimming lessons and a swim team, but does not allow patrons to pay per day at the pool.
Jones said about 80 percent of the people enjoying Petersburg's junior Olympic-size pool are summer-only pool members.
The Augusta Jewish Community Center is open for summer members as well, said Leah Ronen, the executive director of the center and of the Augusta Jewish Federation.
"In the summer, a lot of our pool usage are summer members," Ronen said.
Memberships there cost $350 for a family.
Omar said she likes the family membership for more than the children. She doesn't have to worry with the maintenance of a pool and she met a pool buddy, Linda Landry, while hanging out at the Springlakes pool a few years ago.
The Martinez resident has two children, 12 and 16, who love the pool. Like Omar, Landry has the summers off as an assistant nutritionist at South Columbia Elementary School.
"You meet other people," Landry said. "We didn't know each other until the pool scene."
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