It has been two years since the Parkwood Pool on 10th and Quindaro closed to the public due to the pandemic and the lifeguard shortage.
The Parkwood Pool is the only public swimming pool in Kansas City, KS and last year, protests erupted outside the gate of the pool when the Unified Government (UG) announced it would be closed for another summer.
Mayor Tyrone Garner and other UG leaders made a commitment to the community that it would reopen this summer and it’s now coming true.
“We were going to do everything that we could to make sure that we had a pool functional and operation and open for business here in Kansas City, Kansas,” Garner said.
The pool will reopen Sat. May 28, with the one-dollar fee being waived that day. Hours at the pool will be Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. It will be closed for cleaning on Mondays.
The Unified Government announced a partnership with Midwest Pool Management to help them run the pool and find new lifeguards.
Commissioner Gayle Townsend said in addition to the pool opening, there will be continued partnerships with USD 500 and the YMCA to teach children how to swim to prevent another tragedy that happened last year when a teen lost his life in the pool after jumping the fence into the deep end of the pool.
“There’s going to be more intention placed in getting swimming classes placed back in the schools,” Townsend said, adding that’s how needs for lifeguards would be filled.
She said leaders were going to continue to push for training lifeguards.
“Kids will be able to come through that gate and enjoy some safe summer aquatic fun and we hope this will continue for this season and seasons to come and that cannot happen without the right number of lifeguards,” Townsend said.
From the first pilot program of learn to swim classes, 40 youth completed the session, said UG Parks and Recreation director Angel Obert. She said at the beginning of the session, only 21% of the kids could pass a swim in the 6.5 foot part of the pool, and at the end of the session, 96% passed.
Now, USD 500 will provide swimming lessons to summer school students at Eugene Ware, Arrowhead, Carl B. Bruce, Wyandotte High School and Washington High School.