NEW: Sanchez Gets Agreement From Taveras to Avoid Pool Demolition

Friday, October 25, 2013


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The Providence City Council announced this afternoon the creation of a new commission -- and a plan to keep public pools open in the City of Providence.

Council President Michael Solomon proposed the creation of a special commission to study the issues surrounding swim instruction and public pools in the city of Providence. The proposal comes in response to the City’s plan to demolish the pool at the Davey Lopes Recreation Center and replace it with a water park.

Committee Structure

Solomon is recommending the creation of a five-member commission, whose members would be appointed by the Mayor, subject to Council approval. At least two members would be appointed from Ward 11, where the Davey Lopes pool is located.

The commission will examine issues surrounding swim instruction; the expansion of public-private partnerships to increase access to pools and swim instruction; operating costs; safety rules and regulations; data collection and record keeping; and the use of water parks as an alternative to pools. After holding public meetings and hearing testimony, the commission will issue a report with recommendations to the Recreational Advisory Board and City Council.

Solomon emphasized that, “Until such time as a report is issued, the City will take no further action to close any other recreation center pool, nor will the City take any steps to demolish the Davey Lopes pool.”

Councilman Davian Sanchez, (Ward 11) stated, “This is a good outcome for my ward. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in advocating for the community’s access to the pool—residents—including Leah Williams Metts—community activists, and other elected officials. I also would like to thank Council President Solomon for facilitating the creation of this new commission with the Mayor.” Sanchez noted that his immediate goal of preventing the pool from being cemented has been realized. “I’m really pleased that the pool will not be demolished while this commission studies options for Davey Lopes, as well as for the city as a whole.”

Solomon said the commission will issue a report no later than April 2014.

Efforts to Reopen Pool Strong Since Closing

Earlier this week, Councilman Davian Sanchez held a press conference at Davey Lopes Recreation Center, announcing that the Black Contractors' Association had stepped forth to offer free labor to fix the repairs needed for the Davey Lopes pool, which had been closed 


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