The 6th Annual Shipe Pool Party is Saturday, July 12, 7-11 p.m. Bring the family and friends out for tacos and snow cones, take a late evening dip in the pool, and settle in for The Lego Movie in the field after dark. The Shipe Pool Party is presented by Grande Communications and hosted by the HPNA. This event is a wonderful gathering in our cherished public green space and always helps us to build a stronger sense of community.
Note: As this article goes to press, Shipe pool has just reopened after a period of closure due to pump and leak issues. The leak has not been completely repaired, but apparently is in a manageable state. It will be regularly monitored and could cause future closure. In any case, the July 12 event will take place as scheduled; if the pool is closed, the pool party will be more of a pool rally.
This is a particularly important time to advocate for our beloved neighborhood park and pool given the challenges it is facing: in the first month of the pool season, Shipe pool was closed because of the breakdown of the chemical pump and a significant leak in the pool plumbing. Other neighborhood pools across town are closed at press time because of a citywide shortage of lifeguards. Maintenance issues have caused periodic closures of Shipe pool over the last few years.
In 2011, Shipe was tagged by PARD for permanent closure to meet the budget gap the city was expecting (fortunately that was averted and the pool remained funded and open during the summer season). And this year, in the city’s aquatics assessment, Shipe pool was judged to have less than five years of life left given the age and condition of its infrastructure. The city’s final assessment report is set to be released this summer, and it will be the basis for a long-term plan for city pools in Austin.
The key questions on the table are (1) As a community, do we want to make neighborhood pools like Shipe and others a priority or would we rather close them in favor of new, larger regional pools with more capacity and amenities? and (2) If we do want to sustain neighborhood pools, how do we increase funding to the Parks and Recreation Department to rebuild and maintain them?
For a number of reasons then, this summer is a critical time to advocate for our neighborhood park and pool—and all neighborhood parks and pools. Among the best ways to get involved in this advocacy:
- Come to the Shipe Pool Party on July 12—we will speak volumes with our numbers that day!
- Tell your city council members how important Shipe Pool is to you and your family.
Thank you for being engaged and involved in the important advocacy needed at this time to keep the park and pools available for our community!
Friends of Shipe Park