City requesting $2.5 million for pool repairs following Action News Jax Investigations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The city of Jacksonville plans to request more money in the upcoming budget for pool repairs, following a series of Action News Jax Investigations into shut down public pools.

-- Watch Action News Jax's investigator Jenna Bourne's full report on CBS47 at 6.

The Julius Guinyard pool in Hogan’s Creek has already been closed to families in the urban core for more than a year.

It was supposed to reopen this past Saturday.

Now the city tells Action News Jax it will take an extra two weeks to fix.

“It’s too hot. Honestly, it’s just too hot in the neighborhood,” said neighbor Lerin Wilcoxson.

The city said it found and fixed major structural issues at the Julius Guinyard Pool, and crews have been working to resurface it.

Now city spokesperson Nikki Kimbleton said the contractor found even more areas that need repairs.

That’s pushed back opening day again, this time until July 19.

“I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it’s going to reopen in two weeks, if it opens at all this summer,” said Wilcoxson.

Ninety-five percent of the people who live in the same ZIP code as that pool are African American.

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That's important because 64 percent of African-American kids don't know how to swim, according to the USA Swimming Foundation.

They're also three times more likely to drown than white children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The shutdown of Julius Guinyard eliminates a place where kids can learn to swim.

“It’s very important for our kids to learn how to swim in case something happens. Like all these retention ponds that all these kids have fallen in, in the past. It’s really important that our kids learn how to swim,” said Wilcoxson.

The city administration now wants to spend $500,000 on public pool repairs each year for the next five years.

If it’s approved, that will add up to $2.5 million.

Julius Guinyard is one of three city of Jacksonville public pools still closed for repairs -- two in the urban core and one in Englewood.

Kimbleton said the city expects to reopen the Englewood High School and Robert F. Kennedy pools by July 27.

The city reopened the Harts Road pool on July 2.

All the city’s public pools were supposed to open for summer more than a month ago for the Memorial Day weekend.

Action News Jax reported in May that eight pools were unable to meet that deadline.