KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The city’s Parks and Recreation department believes it’s time for some upgrades.

Some of them will come in hands on hot summer days, as plans to revamp a now-defunct public pool will soon begin.

The Southeast Community Center, as well as its indoor pool, are only 10 years old. Kansas City Manager Brian Platt said the pool has some mechanical issues, as well as leaks, that were never addressed.

“On a hot day, this is the first place people think they want to go,” Platt said on Monday. If it’s not open, where else are they going to go?”

Platt said there’s a plan to revive the pool, using more than $3 million to revamp it and perform upgrades at five public parks, too.

City council members have designated $6 million for the upgrade work across the city, using repurposed money from the city budget instead of raising taxes.

“We’re actually looking into the finances we have and finding new ways to use those dollars, and we’re seeing higher returns from revenues on sales taxes and activity taxes after the recovery from the pandemic,” Platt said.

People who use the gym at the Southeast Community Center, which sits alongside E. 63rd Street, are excited for the pool to reopen. East Kansas City hasn’t had dependable access to pools in a long time.

“I’m thoroughly excited because I have children and this gives me a chance to workout as well as relax in the pool. It gives me someplace to take them and it’s close. We live only a couple of blocks away,” Cathy Cowan said.

“We deserve it. It’s a good gym. There are a lot of good people who come in here. There are a lot of events here all the time,” Tony Cody said. “The kids love it. I know they can’t wait to get back in that pool.”

Don’t expect relief from the heat in this pool for another couple of summers. The city’s planning department will start accepting bids on this construction late this year, and construction itself won’t be completed until the end of 2023.

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