A brand new community pool is coming to Calwa Park.
The pool that’s there now has been unusable for 25 years. Thanks to an $80,000 Kaiser Permanente grant a new one will be built this summer and the community could not be more excited for what’s to come.
“You can see kids on what was the diving board,” said Erica Linares of Calwa Recreation and Park District.
The Calwa pool has seen better days. Black and white photos from the 1950’s show a once vibrant, gathering spot for families.
“When my daughters used to go to West Park School, from school, they used to bring them every summer,” said Silvia Vasquez of Fresno.
Vasquez says she and her daughters enjoyed escaping the heat at the pool in the 90’s.
Leaking pipes and other structural issues forced it’s permanent closure over two decades ago but the community always held hope for its revitalization.
“Pre-summer we’ll start getting like you said four to five calls a day where I’m just in the robot mode going, ‘sorry, our pool isn’t even functioning, there’s no water,'” Linares explained.
The county says the price tag to repair it was close to half-a-million-dollars.
A new grant from Kaiser Permanente Fresno and private donations will pay to fill in the existing pool and build a brand new one about a 100 feet away.
“A new pool is really needed because there are a lot of people in this area that don’t have a swimming pool,” said Felix Ortiz, Calwa Recreation and Park District Administrator.
It’ll be 70 by 30 feet and 3.5 to 5.5 feet deep.
Besides a place to beat the heat and a place for Vasquez to now bring her grandchildren, it’s a new activity to enjoy.
“That way they can get off the streets,” Vasquez concluded.
Construction will start this summer. The new pool is expected to open in September.
The total cost of the project is $250,000.