Let's think of the future and make recreation cuts equitably

Supporters enjoying the band "oldboy" at the Save the Denison Pool Potluck.

In a few years, when the smoke clears and all this economic turmoil is behind us, we will be left with the results of the decisions we are making right now.

Once Denison Pool is gone, it’s gone. Do we want to bulldoze the city’s newest pool, one of only two public pools in the city, and the one serving the part of the city with the most children and the most poor children?

Cuts have to be made somewhere, I accept that. But let’s look at all the recreation facilities that we have, in all parts of the city, and make the cuts equitably.

Let's crunch numbers, discuss solutions, sort through facts and let reason prevail. For example, the city cites the need for more pavilions in the parks, because of the high demand for them. Denison Pool is scheduled to be demolished to make way to build more pavilions. Part of the reason pavilions are in such demand is that they cost $25 to rent all day, and are open to groups outside of the city. Is it cost-effective to pave over a pool in order to put up picnic tables?

Soccer fields and skating rinks are also wonderful amenities, and I am glad they are here. But soccer and hockey are team sports. Swimming is something we can all enjoy, and learning to swim is something all children should have access to.

At our Denison Pool potluck, lots of people talked about learning to swim at Denison, their kids doing the same and how the pool was a place for summer recreation for their families when they became single parents, and money was scarce.

Keeping Denison Pool open is in best interest of our community’s future. We should think big and about the long-term success of Cleveland Heights and begin the long, difficult process of collaborating with other cities to build a first-class indoor swimming facility in our area.

Fran Mentch
President, Severance Neighborhood Organization

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 9:11 AM, 09.30.2010