WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – For some Memorial Day weekend is the official start to the summer. Kids are out of school and parents are looking into summer activities for their children. That search just got a little harder for some parents.
The City Council voted in the spring to close six of the nine public pools in Wichita. They will replace them with splash pads. Not every community took this lightly, especially those in the McAdams area where some residents said removing the pool is removing history.
The McAdams Park Pool is the first to close, forcing parents in the community to think quick about options for their kids this summer, but not before one last protest in an attempt to keep their pool open.
“It;s about the children, it’s not about me,” said Charles McAfee.
Charles McAfee is the architect that built the McAdams Park Pool in the 70’s and he said if it weren’t for this pool his kids and many others wouldn’t know how to swim. He questioned how the city is spending their money.
“We build a new airport with 12 gates, we had 12 gates before the tore the old one down,” said McAfee. “They do what they want to do, you have got to make your voices heard. Let them know about this pool, let them know about the children who need this pool.”
City park officials said they have already these voices.
“We’ve had some communication with the community in regards to some of the options, but for this year the budget’s already set,” said Recreation Director Troy Houtman. “We’ve already set out programming, we’ve already published all of the hours, so unfortunately there’s not an opportunity this year to reopen that pool.”
Though many who participated in the flash mob understand that fact, they still said anything good is worth fighting for.
“If this pool wasn’t here, some kids would not know how to swim,” said Timora Parker, a Wichita resident. “They couldn’t go to the YMCA if they didn’t have a condo pool, so then this would be a good pool for them to come and learn how to swim.”