DEL PASO HEIGHTS (CBS13) — A change of heart by a local school district means kids and families in Del Paso Heights will be able to cool down in a neighborhood pool after all.
This after an earlier decision by the school district to shut down Grant High School’s pool for the summer.
A little late but better than never, say community members who call this pool not only a gathering place but a spot where kids can go in the summer to stay safe and out of trouble.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a pool so I’m really enjoying it!” said a swimmer on opening day.
This swimmer was one of many coming to cool off on a triple-digit day.
The $6 million pool was built for Grant High School in 2017. Wednesday’s opening comes after an earlier decision by the district to keep it closed all summer. The reason: the district cited vandalism and the construction of new bleachers
Mervin Brookins is a director of a local youth sports program.
“I’m not sure if everyone in the district wanted the pool open, because I’m sure they were concerned about vandalism and it is a multi-million dollar investment, so I get it,” Brookins said.
But community members say the vandalism was minor, only some shower heads broken, and that led to misunderstandings with some questioning the district’s decision-making.
The district reversed its decision on Monday.
Ramona Landeros is a trustee with the Twin Rivers Unified School District.
“I understand the needs out there and that our kids do need a place to go and we’ve been working on the details, making sure it was safe,” Landeros said.
It was some good news after a suspected arson fire last Sunday destroyed a classroom directly behind the pool.
28-year-old Adam Prater was arrested in the fire that caused nearly a million dollars worth of damage.
The pool wasn’t affected, but the next day the district offered up the pool opening.
“I applaud the district in their efforts to get it open,” Brookins said.
He grew up swimming in the school’s old pool and says for him then, and kids now, the pool is much more than just a place for kids to cool off.
“Keep them out of trouble, keep them active, healthy, socializing, it’s just a win-win all the way around,” he said.
The pool at Grant High School will be open from 2-6 p.m., Monday through Friday until August 17. There is no charge for those who want to cool off.