On August 20, the New Haven Park Board was greeted with some fresh new faces. Middle school student Ellie Westermeyer and elementary students Julia Faris and Gracie Steele made an appeal to the Park Board about pool renovations. Jordan Rulo, along with several other students, attended to observe the meeting.
Farris and Steele approached the Park Board with ideas for a bigger slide or a swirly slide, rock climbing walls, and the possibility of a bigger pool. Ellie Westermeyer recommended the addition of music “to make things more fun.”
One hundred and eight students from 3rd to 6th grade signed a petition simply stating "I support improvements at the city pool."
Apparently, these types of renovations have been discussed before, but there are drawbacks. “It’s not the financial end of dealing with construction of the additions, it’s the operating expense,” says Kirby Menke.
According to insurance policy, if a slide is over ten feet long, a lifeguard must be in the water at all times or it must be fenced off. The bigger the slide, the more lifeguards needed. The question predominantly discussed was whether the recommended effects would increase pool usage or not.
Park Board president Jason Addison says that kids haven’t ever appealed to the Park Board since he’s been on it. “I like the fact that kids are giving their opinion on the park, because they’re the ones who are actually using it.”
Roth expands, “Attending the meeting gave students a feel for what a city meeting looked like and gave them ‘a voice’ in an important issue facing our city government.”