Forest Park Pool
FORT WORTH — The only public pool operated by the City of Fort Worth will likely soon shut down due to serious maintenance problems.
The Forest Park pool is the biggest in Fort Worth, and the only one open to the public this summer. But, it's also the oldest. The newest part of the pool, a liner put on the bottom in 1992, is coming loose. Once it floats, the pool will close down for good.
Six days a week, hundreds of kids splash in Forest Park pool.
"If it closes, they probably won't go swimming, not this summer anyway," said Laura Simpkins, of her children.
Any day, families could be told the pool is closed for good.
"It's really heart breaking," said Sonia Diaz. "If they're going to close the pool down, where will the children go?"
For now, the pool is safe and open. However, the liner that was installed in 1992 was only built to last 10 years and it's starting to peel. Staff checks it every day and ropes off different sections of the pool. When the rest of the liner breaks free, and engineers say the entire pool will be closed.
"Most likely it will float at some point in time," said Richard Zavala, Fort Worth Parks director. "If it does, though, we'll get ahead of it and make sure it doesn't expose anybody to any unsafe situations."
The city says replacing the liner before the end of summer is not an option. Once they start that work, they have to upgrade the pumps and seal the cracks, which would cost $3 million that is not in the budget.
"This is the last city pool that the city operates," Zavala said. "If it closes, there will be no city-operated pools."
The city is already concerned about next year. Other pools are just as old and could cost just as much to repair, and the budget is already $77 million short.
Fort Worth does have a deal with the YMCA that allows people use of four of its outdoor pools. Non-members can get in from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day, except at the McDonald Community YMCA, which is closed Sundays. The deal lasts through August 21. Kids can swim for $1, and adults $1.50.