WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita’s pool system could undergo a major change according to a plan city council members got a first look at Tuesday.
It would shrink the number of pools from ten to five. Four of those would be converted to water playgrounds with slides, wading pools and other features for kids.
One pool, though, Minisa, would be converted to a river launch site for boats to get to the Arkansas River.
Some are concerned about the possible changes.
“With me being a single mom with two boys, no, I don’t think they should do it,” said concerned neighbor, Brandy Pedigo.
Pedigo lives right across the street from Boston Park. She’s concerned about the neighborhood losing its pool.
“Where are the children going to play during the period they shut it down? That’s why question,” Pedigo said.
The current proposal would replace the Boston pool with a water playground.
“Then we want to bring on four splash pads. That would replace some of the closings of some of these others pools.” said Wichita Parks and Recreation director, Troy Houtman.
The city says that would reduce the amount of money spent on water, operations, and hiring lifeguards.
Some, including some council members, aren’t completely sold on the idea of shutting down pools like this one here at Boston Park and replacing them with water playgrounds. For councilwoman LaVonta Williams, one concern, the lack of options for swim lessons.
“What I’m looking at is taking away that inner city’s swimming pool and those are actually kids that have no memberships to the YMCA,” Williams said.
“Cause I’m not convinced that swimming pools is, I know it’s something we all grew up with, but not sure how many youth are doing it,” said councilman, Pete Meitzner.
It’s a debate that is just starting for city leaders.
Right now, the pool plan is just a proposal that city leaders plan to study. We’ll let you if they open it up for public input and when it comes up for a final vote.