Public Pools

Resident:

Aneesha Moore, Northeast Oklahoma City

Context: An avid swimmer, Moore is worried about the disappearance of public swimming pools in her area.  After living in Colorado for more than 20 years, Moore returned to Oklahoma City a few years ago and noticed that all of the pools she used to swim in are gone. She feels that pools not only help young people learn how to swim but provide a community setting.


Response:

Jennifer Lindsey-McClintock, Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Spokeswoman

Context: Lindsey-McClintock said budget constraints, along with a drop in attendance, has resulted in the city closing some public swimming pools. McClintock said it costs the city up to $40,000 a year to maintain each pool. A sprayground costs about a third of that, and as a result the city has increased the number of spray facilities in parks.


A Deeper Look:

From Dive to Splash

Oklahoma City has gradually retired a number of public swimming pools because of cost and, in some cases, lack of use. As a replacement, the city has built more spraygrounds, which cost less to maintain and present lower risks of drowning. A handful of public pools remain, scattered around the city.

Data from the city of Oklahoma City


Fact to Remember

Less Swimming, More Deaths

Black and Hispanic young people drown at significantly higher rates than young whites. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the unintentional drowning rate of whites aged 29 and younger was 1.3 per 100,000 people compared with 1.9 for blacks and 1.4 for Hispanics between 1999 and 2010. The differences were much greater at younger ages.  A study commissioned by the USA Swimming Foundation found that 70 percent of black children, 60 percent of Hispanic children and 40 percent of white children have low or no swimming ability.

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