Lehigh Valley

Plans to revamp pool are making waves in Allentown community

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Andre Reed Park in East Allentown is getting a makeover.

"There are basketball courts, there are tennis courts, a playground, there have been requests from neighbors for a picnic area," said Lindsay Taylor, Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Allentown.

Taylor says her department is working on a master plan to revamp the entire park, including the swimming pool.

"Studies have told us that we really should be replacing the pool and putting in a spray park," said Taylor.

The city recently received a $250,000 grant to help fund that spray park, but some East Allentown residents aren't ready to say goodbye to their traditional pool.

"We just want the pool here, it was here; we want it," said Dennis Pearson, President of the East Allentown Rittersville Neighborhood Association.

Pearson says he can accept the spray park but wants the city to keep at least a 6-foot swimming pool too. He says he worries the older kids in the area will have nowhere to swim without it.

"Now they're putting a youth pool here and taking away the swimming pool, which we feel is wrong," said Pearson.

But Taylor disagrees, she says spray parks aren't just for younger kids. She also says people aren't using the current pool at Andre Reed.

"The users aren't there and we even reduced the fees for the pool," said Taylor.

Taylor says she has seen great success with spray activities in other city parks. She also says there are other standard swimming pools around the city that people in East Allentown could utilize. 

But Pearson says they're too far away.

Taylor says the project is only in its kick-off phase, with a lot more planning and funding ahead. She says there will be meetings open to the public for comment as the process moves forward.​

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