Aryana Maya has no doubts what she wants improved at Stockton’s McKinley Park.
“My kids had swimming lessons a couple years ago and now it just hasn’t been open," says Maya, pushing a stroller with her young son inside.
Her other sons, 9-year-old Emiliano and 7-year-old David, are right there with her.
“The pool open," said David.
“Some of the kids want to learn how to swim and they don’t get the opportunity, too," said Emiliano.
The city says the reason why the pool is closed is it keeps getting vandalized.
Even the fence surrounding the pool is knocked over.
“We really want to bring them back up to a standard the community deserves," says Stockton Director of Community Services John Alita.
He says so-called “one time” funds were approved by the city council over a year ago.
He adds while the pool is on the city’s radar, a transformation of the ball fields is what they are looking into first.
“It’s traditionally been softball and baseball fields. But we have a lot of young people play soccer. And so really, there is more of a need for us to do a soccer playing area," Alita says.
And what more do kids want? We asked a group of kids who play at the park.
Several of the kids mentioned more water in the pool, a new basketball hoop and a skate park.
Their wishes could come true. That’s because the city is also eyeing $4 million coming from the passage of the city’s Measure M quarter cent sales tax.
That money will be directed to fixing up the pool and even more improvements at the park. John Alita says the funding could be another year out.
It's welcome news for a neighborhood starving for more skateboarding, swimming and soccer.
A community meeting to gain input from neighbors was set for 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the McKinley Park Community Center at 424 E. 9th Street.
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