Reporting Joel Thomas
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Fort Worth is diving back into the pool business trusting public donations will help them tread water financially. The city is asking for donations to help with operating a revamped pool and and a new aquatic park.
The city needed a half million dollars in privately donated money to rebuild Forest Park Pool near the zoo. And its going to need more private money to accessorize the pool and provide swimming lessons for children who’s families who may not be able to afford it.
“This thing was built in 1922,” said Fort Worth Parks Director Richard Zavala. “It’s 91 years old and in that period of time its undergone just two renovations; one in 1967 and another one in 1992. So this is an old horse and we’re just trying to keep the saddle on it.”
In North Fort Worth, the city dug down into its coffers to demolish the old marine creek pool and build a brand new aquatics center.
Donations will be used there, as well.
The city has a long list of needs for its pools — from life guard gear to water pumps.
Planners think splash parks will draw more people and pay for themselves in the long-run better than swimming pools.
Which means Forest Park will likely be the last Fort Worth pool to reopen.
“I mean, they’re 75 years old,” Zavala said. “We start new and start with a better floor plan and provide the kinds of things people want to have in a pool.”
The city hopes people will see donations as a new way of preserving a wanted service and not just bailing out a city drowning in budget shortfalls.
“I’m not going to look at it like that,” said Fort Worth resident Joshula White. “My thing is if we want it to be open — I have kids. I want my child to go somewhere that’s public and safe to swim.”
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