Cumberland pool should be open all summer, every summer

Cumberland Pool.

Susie Kaeser described Cumberland pool in her October 2022 Heights Observer column:

“It is where we get to hang out together and encounter friends and strangers who share our interests. This is a public space, and the public uses it! I love the sounds of splashing water, youthful horsing around, and quiet conversations. It’s the best place to cool off, exercise, watch the clouds and feel like I’m part of our community.”

Cumberland embodies much of what we love about our community, and learning that it might be taken from us, even temporarily, caused a great deal of angst. 

At the Sept. 18 Cleveland Heights Council Committee of the Whole meeting, Mayor Seren surprised many by introducing an organization tasked with investigating the feasibility of creating both new outdoor and indoor swimming pools in Cleveland Heights.

We appreciate the attention the mayor is giving to Cumberland. We will leave the issue of a new indoor pool for another day and focus on two concerns we have concerning Cumberland’s current pool.

We know that Cumberland has been neglected for years. Routine maintenance has not been properly addressed for a very long time. We also know that the pool presently does not meet the wants/needs of many Cleveland Heights families. For those reasons, we believe it imperative that community input be solicited, encouraged, and considered before any work begins. Shaker Heights and Lakewood engaged their citizens before finalizing their newly designed pools. We must do the same. The new design should reflect what citizens see as priorities.

We also believe that Cumberland should open this next summer, and that all work on the pool should be completed during the offseason. Cumberland’s leaks have been ongoing for years. We can endure those leaks for one more year. Both Shaker Heights and Lakewood constructed their redesigned pools without sacrificing a swimming season. We deserve nothing less.

We cannot imagine a summer without the pool for so many reasons. It is very hard to imagine selling Cleveland Heights as a community for families to move into without an outdoor pool.

Many of us use the pool for exercise. Generations of kids have learned to swim, dive and socialize there. Cumberland is also a place where the whole community gathers. Losing this community asset, even temporarily, is unimaginable.

Robin Koslen

Robin Koslen wrote this opinion with the input of Susan Ford, Cheryl Kuenzel and Kim Ulatowski-Bislich.

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 4:36 PM, 11.29.2023