We support closure of Cook Pool (and Leeds and Lewis pools) as part of a comprehensive plan for the future of local pools focused on quality, not quantity.
However, because we do not wish to see Cook Park left with no summer water feature whatsoever, we support creation of a splash pad to replace Cook Pool.
Cook (which closed earlier this year), Leeds (which closed and was demolished earlier this year) and Lewis pools are outdated pools with limited amenities. The best use of taxpayer dollars on pools for the long term, we believe, is modern pools with improved amenities demanded by the public, but a smaller number of pools.
As we have said before, we support a plan for three modern pools with a range of popular amenities in three key geographic locations of the city, roughly patterned along the boundary lines for the three public high schools - the existing Riverside Pool, an improved Leif Erikson Pool with more amenities (similar to Riverside Pool) and an aquatic center with a full spectrum of amenities near Cone Park when Lewis Pool closes.
The city deferred demolition of Cook Pool in July after supporters, including representatives of Girls Inc., spoke to the City Council. At the meeting, the city agreed to defer demolition to give pool supporters more time to study potential options for keeping the pool open. Ultimately, however, the study produced no viable alternative, so the pool will be demolished.
A Nov. 15 public meeting is planned for discussion of what to do with the site once Cook Pool is gone. We encourage attendance and feedback. If you want to see a splash pad replace the pool, this is your opportunity to tell city leaders. Strong consideration should be given to the wishes of Cook Park and Cook Pool users.
In our view, no water feature at all for the hot months of summer will leave a big void in this neighborhood. As is the case with Leeds Pool, we would like to see Cook Pool replaced with a splash pad.