To the Editor,
I live several blocks from the Budlong Pool and have been there numerous times, often with my kids, over the last 15 years. The report (April 2022 “Feasibility Study” by …
To the Editor,
I live several blocks from the Budlong Pool and have been there numerous times, often with my kids, over the last 15 years. The report (April 2022 “Feasibility Study” by Federal Hill Architects) on the pool’s condition doesn’t shock me, although why this report wasn’t commissioned in 2020 (or before) is disheartening. The pool was closed in 2010 when flooding damaged the pumping system, and a new liner was installed in 2018, so it’s hardly as if this is the first time someone has looked under the hood. I also note from my daily dog walks around the adjacent ball fields that little maintenance has been done on Budlong over the last several years.
The Feasibility Study offers three options. The least expensive is to renovate the pool but preserve its current footprint. The other two reduce the size of the pool but add other amenities including a wading pool, splash pad, dog park and adult fitness area. Of course, there are options for the site other than what is proposed in the report; this study should not limit our thinking on the matter. Regardless, wading pools and splash pads are fine for younger kids, but do not meet the needs of older kids, teens and adults. Reestablishing a viable, decent-sized, public swimming pool should be the priority. Cranston is a city of over 80,000 people with only one municipal pool; there are no other city pools to take up the slack should Budlong close permanently.
It’s a cliché that kids spend too much time looking at screens and not enough outdoors, and I frequently hear the word “equity” bandied about. Time to put some burger in that bun. Funding free recreational facilities is imperative for healthy youth (and adults) of all income levels. Not everyone has the means, time, or ability to take their kids (or themselves) to the beach, join a private club or install their own pool. Budlong provides swim lessons to children and is used by the city’s day camps. Unsurprisingly, kids who can’t swim are at high risk of drowning and are often low-income. We’ve now lost three years of swimming, which is a lot for a six-year-old. Let’s not make it a lifetime.
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