Troy youth seeking alternatives after city closed municipal pools

(Photo Credit: NEWS10 ABC, Lauren Linder)

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Beating the heat won’t be that easy in one local city this summer.

Troy pools were closed due to budget constraints.

So what are kids doing to cool off?

Many kids will be coming to these spray pools like this one in Frear Park, but they tell me they wish they could be swimming instead.

“It’s disappointing because it’s not opening this year,” said Heleena Williams, a Troy resident.

Many families rely on Troy’s swimming pools to keep their kids occupied and cool during the hot summer months.

Helenna Williams and her sister Nadia are sad. It’s finally summer and they won’t get to splash around and swim in Troy’s pools.

But this season, the city closed them not only because of the finances, but also due to safety risks.

An engineering report revealed it would cost at least $2.4 million to fix the pools.

Instead they say kids can go to the 11 spray pools in the city and at Troy Housing Authority locations.

Kaitlyn Bailey and her family went to one of the spray pools in Frear Park on Saturday, but she and others say nothing compares to the big pools.

“I have a 4-year-old. She’s a water bug. She likes to actually swim in deep water and she can’t do that here,” Bailey said. “You only get a little wet here and at the pool you can soak all day.”

The kids are too thrilled either.

“You can go swimming (in the pools). You can dive and there are all different kinds of depths that you can go in,” Nadia Williams said. “It’s not the same (the spray pools). You only get to sit and run through them.”

“It’s disappointing because it’s not opening this year and we have to come to the sprinklers. My mom’s right it’s not the same you only get to sit and run through them,” Helena Williams said.

Parents have concerns about the potential for overcrowding.

“It makes for a hostile environment, not an environment that I want my kids in,” said Allison Canfield of Troy.

Parents are worried teenagers won’t settle for the spray pools and will head to visit dangerous spots like the Poestenkill Gorge.

“They’re going to move somewhere else, they’re going to migrate somewhere else and it’s going to be somewhere they’re not supposed to,” Bailey said.

In the mean time, they’re all making do. The kids are going so far as to make their own water slide.

“It makes us feel more comfortable at home, so I’m having fun now,” Helenna Williams said.

For six weeks starting July 10th, activities including swimming lessons will be offered by the city at the YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs. Some of the programs will offer breakfast and lunch to kids enrolled and many will also offer swimming lessons.

Participation is on a first come, first served basis.

To learn more about 2017 summer youth activities, please contact Patrick Doyle, Executive Director of the Troy Boys and Girls Club atpatrickd@tbgc.org, and Ashli Fragomeni, Director of Operations of the Capital District YMCA Troy Branch at (518) 869-3500 ext. 2201 or afragomeni@cdymca.org.

From the City of Troy’s website:

The City of Troy’s public swimming pools will be closed for the 2017 season. Keep cool during the summer months and enjoy the City’s 6 spray pools located at these locations:

  • Frear Park
  • Prospect Park
  • Corliss Park
  • Riverfront Park
  • Knickerbacker Park
  • South Troy Pool

These facilities will be open and available for public use throughout the 2017 summer season. An additional five spray pools are also available at several Troy Housing Authority locations, including the Fallon Apartments, Griswold Heights (Madison Avenue), Phelan Court, the John P. Taylor Apartments, and the MLK Apartments.

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