For the community of Del Paso Heights, cooling off at the pool almost wasn't an option this summer. But after some backlash, the pool at Grant Union High School re-opened up to the public.
"The pool here at Grant has been significant in the summers, since I was a child," said Mervin Brookins. "And that was a long time ago!"
As someone who was in a lot of trouble in his youth, Brookins knows just how important the pool really is to the neighborhood.
"It's a place for kids to come hang out, get cool, stay out of trouble," said Brookins. "It's a part of their summers...it's hard to put the importance of the pool into qualitative terms."
Brookins added the pool is the "hub of the community" during summer. The pool he went to as a kid was actually closed by the Sacramento County Health Department nearly a decade ago.
"It didn't look like this," said Brookins, admiring the new $6.2 million pool that opened in February 2017. "This is an absolutely beautiful pool. Competition ready."
Earlier this summer, the Twin Rivers Unified School District said the pool would be closed until August 20 because of vandalism and the need to do construction while school was out. Brookins said many community members felt that wasn't a good enough reason.
"Disappointment, frustration, and anger," said Brookins. "There is mistrust between the community and the district. The community wasn't sure if closure was actually legitimate, if there were legitimate repairs being done."
Brookins added that the district's change of heart in opening the pool again is a move in the right direction.
"The district did a nice job in getting it open for us during summer and we appreciate it," said Brookins. "The pool opening to me reflects the building of community relations."
A small group of kids lined up 20 minutes before the pool opened at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Brookins feels the crowds will come when word gets out that the pool is open again.
The Grant Union High School pool is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will always be at least two lifeguards on duty and even police officers from Twin River. Kids ages 12 and under need adult supervision.
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