La Alma Rec Center outdoor pool remodel delayed until the fall due to asbestos

Outdoor city pools have been open since June 4 -- but not the much-loved pool at La Alma Rec Center, 1120 Osage Street. Instead, the La Alma pool is a construction site and will likely remain so until school starts again in the fall. According to Parks and Rec spokeswoman Angela Casias, construction crews found asbestos in the concrete, which has delayed the planned remodel.

It's actually the second delay for the hundred-year-old pool, which will be renovated into a smaller lap pool and an accompanying "sprayground." The first delay was to investigate whether it'd be feasible to install an indoor pool instead, a neighborhood request that ultimately got scrapped, Casias says.

But that doesn't mean the scores of kids who live in the neighborhood will be bored all summer. Casias says the parks department is working hard to provide alternative programming, including hosting one of its free Movies in the Park there. (Despicable Me, July 13.) Plus, every Wednesday, a bus will take kids to other city pools to swim.

Still, it's not the same as having a pool a block or two away. Last summer, we told you about a group of eager boys who surrounded a Westword staffer who parked her car next to the pool, thinking she was the lifeguard -- only to find out that they were a week too early to swim. This year, we bet there are lots of local kids cursing asbestos.

More from our News archives: "Parks and Recreation: City council committee approves increases to rec center fees."

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar