LUBBOCK, Texas – During Tuesday’s city council meeting, members voted four to three to approve turning some of Lubbock’s city pools into splash pads.
The decision came after nearly seven decades of these city pools opening for the summer. However, the aging infrastructure left staff and the city with a larger problem on their hands earlier in the season. The old equipment was going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix.
District 1 Councilmember, Christy Martinez-Garcia said, “We can put half a million dollars into Montelongo Pool. But that doesn’t mean that the problem will be corrected.”
She explained that with these new splash pads, they’ll be open eight months in the year as opposed to the two to three months city pools open in the summer. The funds come from the American Rescue Plan Act, meaning citizens won’t have to pay a thing. She said they will also be accessible to everyone.
However, some citizens disagreed with the idea in Tuesday’s meeting saying they could present liability issues and are not a good replacement for swimming pools.
Montelongo Pool, Mae Simmons Pool, and Maxey Pool will be turned into splash pads. That will leave the pool at Clapp Park to open next summer. But members of council say this is not the end as there are discussions in play about a future aquatic center.
Martinez-Garcia said the center would be an indoor/outdoor pool similar to the one at the Texas Tech Recreation Center. “There’s nothing final about that,” she said. “Right now, the focus will be to get these splash pads ready.”
No time is set yet for when the splash pad process will start or finish. The goal is to have them up and running for the next season, but those in charge will take it one step at a time.