Renewed fight to open Davey Lopes Pool in Providence

by ABC 6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

The kids were splashing up a storm at the McGrane Pool in Providence Friday  morning, but a mile away the Davey Lopes Pool remains empty.

Now a group of Providence City Council members says it has secured over 100 thousand dollars to fix and reopen the lopes pool.

“We have the majority of the Council – I mean all the Council is supporting. We have State Reps, Senators, so I mean it's just the mayor who doesn't want this open,” said City Councilman Davian Sanchez, who represents Wad 11 where the Lopes Pool is located.

But the mayor's spokesman said those same city councilors do not have the money to maintain and staff the pool.

So the mayor stands by what he told us a few weeks ago – that the pool will be filled with cement – and a water park will be built.

“And so that the pool will be replaced with a water park as we have done other places. So that's the goal,” Mayor Taveras told ABC6 on July 18th.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, “Those trying to expand swimming opportunities for young kids in Providence say it's more than just about recreation. It's also about public safety.”

A University of Memphis study concluded that 70 percent of African-Americans in the U.S. don't know hope to swim.

Blacks also account for half of all drowning victims.

Parents at the McGrane Pool hope the kids near Davey Lopes get their pool back.

“It would be great, fantastic, because it would be another place where kids have an opportunity to go ahead and exercise and move and enjoy the summer,” said Providence parent Janet Guerreoo.

“Oh I'm not giving up. I wasn't taught that,” said Councilman Sanchez.

But the Mayor says water parks are a more cost–effective option for Providence.