Mayor has plan for closed pool
Boys and girls were keeping cool Tuesday at a public water park on Richardson Street in Providence. But for some parents, it wouldn't be their first choice.
"We live further down, so we had to travel up this way, where Davey Lopes was closer," said Doris Mitchell of Providence.
Mayor Angel Taveras said the Davey Lopes Pool closed because the cost of fixing it was too high compared to the use it was getting.
He said Tuesday that he doesn't believe he's left kids in that area of the city high and dry.
"We made a conscious decision to make sure to invest in the summer program to get more kids involved," Taveras said.
The mayor was talking about a summer camp for the kids at Davey Lopes that includes swimming one day a week at the Zuccolo Pool at another recreation center in the city.
Taveras said more kids are doing the camp than used the pool.
"That's why I chose to do that because we're getting more kids involved and they're getting swimming lessons as well at Zuccolo Pool. So, I want to be very clear about that," Taveras said.
The city also worked with the South Side Boys and Girls Club to provide free membership for up to 50 children.
"Offering them swimming, a gym, we have a games room, new computer lab. We also have the Center for Dynamic Learning here," senior program manager Kyle Dennis said.
As for the Davey Lopes Pool, the mayor said the plan is to turn it into a water park.
"Like we've done in other areas of city so that kids are able to be engaged in good activities and get relief also from the heat," Taveras said.
"I am grateful that he thought about doing a campership. However, it's not enough. He should know better," said state Rep. Anastasia Williams, who represents Providence.
Williams is among those calling publicly for the Lopes pool to reopen, and she said she doesn't think a water park will cut it.
"Why would he deprive the kids of our great city from utilizing a pool of their community?" she said.
A water park at Davey Lopes would be for the next summer season, but some community leaders say they'll continue to fight to reopen the pool.