Work underway to transition most of Lubbock’s public pools into splash pads
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Renovation plans are being worked up by city staff to re-work some city pools into splash pads.
This comes after the city council OK’d special pandemic funds to be used for the process. With the newly passed city budget, this means three of four of Lubbock’s public pools will undergo the transition.
“We have to get a little further along before we have a good definitive timeline on when those splash pads are going in,” Chase Helms, the city’s aquatics coordinator.
The only pool opening next summer is at Clapp Park. So, the city will start the task of reconstructing Maxey, Montelongo and Mae Simmons pools.
That means doing away with the nearly 70-year-old swim spots.
“It’s unfortunate that at this time these pools are at a point where the maintenance is just so high that we have to do something in that manner,” said Helms.
Even though the council and city manager have been weighing the closure for some months, that does not mean everyone is on board with the move.
“A lot of people use those pools,” Adam Hernandez, Lubbock resident, said. “It’s really close to their neighborhoods, it’s within walking distance.”
During town halls and council meetings, many residents voiced opposition to the pool plan. Hernandez was included in those opposing voices.
People even used online means to say they were unhappy when the idea of closing pools was put out in the public sphere.
“It’s not that they’re opposed to the splash pads themselves, they’re opposed to it being the splash pads exclusively,” said Hernandez.
But for the city, it is splash pads that make more sense in terms of finances and safety.
In previous meetings, the public was told it would be too costly to make needed repairs for the pools, most of which were built in the ‘50s.
“That is something that we want to be able to keep providing; these services for people,” Helms said.
And in taking away a service that was available for so many years, residents like Hernandez said this could leave some kids with not a lot to do.
“We are already having issues with youth being involved in gun and gang activity and things of that nature,” Hernandez said.
Now, there is hope the city put future plans together for more pools in Lubbock.
Something like that is possible, but so far there is no commitment from the city.
“There are some discussions,” Helms said. “But right now, they’re still discussions and planning.”
Related Link: City proposes 3 splash pads to replace Lubbock pools
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