To the editor:
The Lawrence Outdoor Aquatic Center has provided many residents of Lawrence, young and old, with an opportunity to cool off and get good, healthy, outdoor exercise in a summer that has been so hot that just stepping outdoors has sometimes seemed unbearable. Although temperatures this week have finally dipped below 100, the weather will remain hot for the foreseeable future. No matter how hot it is, we all need fresh air and exercise, and this is especially true for children.
Why, then, is the Lawrence Outdoor Aquatic Center shutting its gates to the children of Lawrence after next weekend? This year, as a result of phenomenally poor planning, the pool will close entirely on the Friday BEFORE Labor Day, and for the final two weeks of the season, it will be open only for lap swimming in the mornings. Pool officials say the problem is that they can’t staff it, but until last year, the pool always managed to find staff to work through Labor Day. The outdoor pool brings families downtown and serves the residents of eastern Lawrence, many of whom walk and bike to it. I urge city leaders to find a way to keep the pool open, at least through Labor Day.