Summer fun is ending early for kids in one east Tulsa neighborhood. After 25 years, the Park Plaza pool is closing.
Operators say, unless a donor steps forward, there simply isn't enough money for the membership funded family center to stay afloat.
News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin has more.
It looks like another perfect day at the Park Plaza pool, summer sun and squeals of happiness. But after more than two decades of family fun, this neighborhood center is drowning in debt and forced to turn swimmers away. Shellie Gilmore: "It's, it's awful." These kids will be the last group to use the pool this summer and maybe forever, even though members have already paid for their season passes, workers say there simply isn't enough money to stay open. "They've swam two-thirds of the season and they still have paid for the other one-third, but we can't keep it open. We have not been able to generate as much revenue as we thought."
Nearly 400 kids benefit from the pool at 12404 East 38th Street every week. Most workers are volunteers, but Gilmore says paid membership is down by half. Add that loss to increased insurance and liability costs and the dues coming in is just a drop in the bucket. "It was an emotional thing for us. That we've worked real hard and to know we're in a place where we just can't do anything."
Just to break even, Park Plaza needs $1,200. To stay open the rest of this summer and next, they need $10,000. â€œThis is our pool and it's sad and we're hoping we can all get together and make it happen." But for now, with sinking hopes, they're shutting the door, maybe for the last time.
Frustrated members are not getting a refund on the rest of the season, but they can use their membership at Briarwood Pool, a few miles away.
Park Plaza is holding a meeting at the pool Thursday night at 8 PM, hoping for some new ideas to raise money.