It’s back and better than ever.
The Douglass-Degraw Pool, threatened last week by closure by the cash-strapped Parks Department, opened on schedule today with a diverse crowd of hundreds cheering the city’s decision to spare the Gowanus watering hole from this year’s budget cuts.
“I was devastated when I heard the pool might close, so we’re so happy it’s open,” said Cathy Kolcun, who lives nearby and said she would bring her 21-month-old daughter Norah to the pool on Nevins and Degraw streets “at least three days a week.”
The pool is not only a popular relief spot for residents of the neighboring housing projects, but also draws fans from as far away as Flatbush.
“I was concerned for the kids in the neighborhood, of course, but I love coming here, too,” said Milton Elliott, who journeyed from Windsor Terrace with his daughter Kendall, 9.
The splashes and shrieks of joy on Tuesday looked like an impossibility only days earlier, when the Double D pool, along with three others citywide, was slated to be closed by city bean counters because it is smaller, and has fewer regular customers, than other pools.
But an outpouring of support from residents of the Gowanus and Wyckoff houses, plus neighboring Brownstone Brooklyn communities and their elected officials, got the budget scales rebalanced.
As a result, no city pool was shuttered.
On Tuesday, of course, all the budget headaches melted away under three feet, 10 inches of shimmering cold blue water.
“We’re so relieved the pool is open,” said Abigail Snyder, who had joined the “Don’t Close Double D Pool” Facebook group to help keep the aquatic area open for her two young daughters. “It’s a really great neighborhood resource, especially because the kids around here don’t really have a lot to do.”
A 10-year-old confirmed that.
“We’re going to use it everyday since there’s no school,” said Justin Garcia as he splashed water at his two friends. “It’s great!”
©2010 Community News Group
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