City looks to improve pools by closing and building new facilities

Wichita Pools (KSN Photo)

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WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita Parks and Recreations has a proposal to improve its pools by closing more of their facilities.

Last year, the department closed Edgemoor and Country Acres due to cracks in the pools that caused leaks.

The constant repairs became costly.

There are 11 city owned pools, including Edgemoor and Country Acres.

Doug Kupper, the director of Parks and Recreations, hopes to rebuild them into five large family friendly aquatic centers.

“Our niche is getting little people safe around bodies of water,” said Kupper. “It’s still cheaper than a lot of places when you go from 11 pools and the cost it takes to coordinate those pumps and water that’s used. If you can get it down to five, there is some economy of scale.”

On the list to be closed is Evergreen Park, and some parents are not to thrilled about the possibility of the facility closing.

“We’re already driving from east Wichita to come to this pool, said Linda Miller. “They closed the one by us last year so, if they’re thinking about closing this one, I’m not sure where we would go.”

“I’d like to see some updates, but I’d like to keep them localized so the children can walk to their neighborhood pool,” said Ginger Prichard.

It would cost between $4-5 million to build each facility. If approved, the money would come from the city’s capital improvement plan.

Kupper hopes to re-open Edgemoor as one of the new five facilities.

The plan will go before the city on August 19. Parks and Recreation encourages people to express their concerns and wants during the public meeting.

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