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Here’s why Waco has no public swimming pools

No public pools in Waco
Posted at 4:46 PM, May 21, 2024

WACO, Texas (KXXV) — There are no city pools in the City of Waco anymore, and that is upsetting for some local parents.

25 News Senior Reporter Lauren Adams spoke to one father who says Waco should bring back public swimming pools.

Angel Walker brings his family to the neighborhood splash pad in Cameron Park now that the temperatures are heating up.

"Splash pads — they're okay, but swimming pools would be way better because it’s more area for them," he said.

They love splashing around in the fountains, but he wishes there were also swimming pools.

"We get hot — very hot, every summer. I don’t know why they took them away — I thought they took them away to get bigger ones," Walker said.

The last swimming pool is now the site of Hawaiian Falls.

The City of Waco contributed $2.5 million to construct the popular water park.

Waco Mayor Jim Holmes says the city has migrated from swimming pools to splash pads, which are less maintenance and staffing.

“Over the course of time, the financial equation, the cost of maintenance, staffing risk and insurance and safety issues, is cost prohibitive to staff them.”

He says later this year, an indoor pool will open at Doris Miller Community Center, which costs more than a million to renovate.

Mayor Holmes says there are a lot of watering holes around Waco.

"We have a lot of water places like Hawaiian Falls, Camp Fimfo — you can swim in Lake Waco.”

But for families like Walker’s a water park gets costly, so he would love to see more pools.

"We got a lot of kids so we need something beneficial for them," he said.

Walker also says he has no place to teach his kids to swim without the public pool.