Public pools that survived budget cuts are now open

May 28, 2011 4:57:01 PM PDT
The city of Houston has also been forced to make cuts due to the budget, and that's caused several pools to be closed for the summer. People are leaving to crowd the ones that are staying open, and Saturday was the first day they were let in to swim. Swimmers say they've been counting down the days for this weekend because the city has finally given them a chance to splash around and beat the heat.

Families wasted no time heading to the public pools Saturday as staff members with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department were busy opening pools across town.

The city is opening the pools in two phases, starting with 20 pools this Memorial Day weekend. They will open the additional nine pools to the public when phase II begins June 7.

Some parents say the city's recent budget decision to close nine pools is a bit of an inconvenience for families who may have to travel farther to keep cool this summer.

"For us, it's very important to be able to come here. We used to have one closer on Dunlavy and they closed that one down," Ana Chambers said.

Officials with the Parks and Recreation Department want citizens to know they are adding resources to city pools this year to help keep families safe and fit.

They are expanding the Learn to Swim program and fitness classes like water aerobics and water Zumba, among other things.

What we are now emphasizing is that at every pool we have a lap lane, and we want to start encouraging them to use that lap lane to continue to practice the skills they've learned so they can become better and better," Jeffield Jefferson with Houston Parks and Recreation said.

The city pools will be open through Memorial Day then every Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 8pm.

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