Elected officials and community activists have come together to save a swimming pool that serves a low-income area of Providence. But Mayor Angel Taveras says he’s going ahead with plans to cement it over and turn it into a water park.
A half dozen state lawmakers joined with Providence City Councilman Davian Sanchez to appeal for the re-opening of the Davey Lopes pool in south Providence. The pool was closed last summer because of maintenance problems. A minority contractors association has volunteered to make the repairs at no charge, except for materials.
Sanchez put his plea this way:
"Mayor, what are you doing? Stop playing politics, please. We have the money. We have the support. We have the resources. Why do you still want to continue to cement this pool?"
The mayor remains undeterred. He says the Davey Lopes Recreation Center served far more children when used as a summer camp last summer than as a swimming pool.
"I believe we made the right decision," said Taveras. "I hear that some people don’t agree. Guess what? I’m the mayor of the city of Providence and it’s my responsibility to the full city to do what I believe is best for everyone in the city."
Taveras says the city will go ahead with a request for bids to demolish the old pool.