Summer Reprieve: Pools & Community Centers to Remain Open

Great news for kids: Thanks to some corporate donations, eight swimming pools and seven community centers that were going to be closed this summer due to budget cuts will now be open.

U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Mayor Annise Parker announced the good news yesterday, and after some initial confusion about just how many municipal facilities were affected, it was good news all around.

Parker spokeswoman Jessica Michan tells Hair Balls that all the facilities that were axed for the summer will be open, thanks to a $350,000 donation from Marathon Oil and ConocoPhillips.

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The cuts were announced in May by Parker, who said the budget crunch forced her to close programs she'd like to keep open.

As we noted recently, the shuttering of pools and community centers in neighborhoods such as Independence Heights hit hard amongst kids.

We talked to a couple of kids:

If the center closes, there's just one place left that [Darren] Smith can imagine hanging out. "The dope house," Smith said. "That's the only place to meet up; if they take away the park, that's where we gonna be."

Smith and [Ray] Anthony grew up in the community center. They stop in every day. "I used to hang out at the pool every day," Smith said. "That's the spot in the summer."

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