KANSAS CITY, Kan. — No luck for those hoping to jump in and cool off this summer in Kansas City, Kansas.
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/KCK said with swim tests and annual maintenance complete, Parkwood Pool, located at 950 Quindaro Blvd. will be drained and remain closed for the remainder of the 2021 season.
The UG said it is already planning for the 2022 season, however, with potential contract relationship to support the daily operations of the pool, in addition to local hiring of lifeguards, pool management and support staff.
“While we are truly disappointed we cannot offer this service this year due to COVID and labor shortages,” said KCK Parks Department spokeswoman Angel Obert. “We are already working towards a fantastic 2022 season at the pool.”
Throughout the summer, the KCK community has protested against the parks department for not opening the pool for the 2021 season.
The Parks and Recreation Department announced in May that Parkwood Pool, the only public swimming pool in Kansas City, Kansas, would not be opening for summer 2021 because of the difficulty to recruit lifeguards and other key staff when schools were closed during the pandemic.
On June 6, a small group of kids jumped a fence at Parkwood Pool. One of the kids, a 13-year-old boy, jumped into the deep end of the pool but couldn’t make his way out, according to the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office. He spent several minutes under the water before being rescued by the KCK Fire Department.
The sheriff’s office said the teen was taken to Children’s Mercy where he later died.
Many of those who came to protest believe that the death of the teen would never have happened if the pool had been open with a lifeguard on duty.
The community says more needs to be done for youth as this is the only swimming option for kids in the area.
The county does have three spray parks open for the summer at Eisenhower Park, Pierson Park and Heathwood Park.