The Davey Lopes pool in South Providence is set to reopen for the season after extensive repairs. The pool closed last summer despite an outcry from the public.
Community leaders in the neighborhood say the pool is vital to keeping the youth of South Providence busy during the summer months. The neighborhood has one of the highest crime rates in the city. Leah Williams Metts, is a local activist who helped spearhead the project.
“On the day that it was supposed to reopen, I went to the pool to try and figure out what is going on and what I saw was – on the side of the pool – about forty children all getting wet with a hose on the side of the empty pool. And the day that I went it was 95 degrees, and I just said something has to be done about this," said Williams Metts.
Metts adds that many of the people the pool serves are people of color, who are at disproportionate risk of drowning for lack of access to pools, and swimming instruction. This summer the city will offer free swim lessons, and Metts says she expects the pool to serve between one and two hundred people each day.
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