Jones Park Pool draws big crowd opening day

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After two years of being shut-down, the Jones Park Pool in North Lufkin is now back open. The pool originally closed down after two lifeguards were attacked. Those two lifeguards quit after the incident and until now, the City of Lufkin had a tough time hiring new lifeguards.

As the Texas sun heats up the pavement, kids waiting in line became more anxious to get out of the heat and into the cool water.

"First I was like I'm not going to make the top 30, but now that I'm here it's just really cool, it's really cool," said Jasmine Fierce.

Watching the kids jump into the pool's water for the first time in two years, James Johnson, lifeguard, had a flashback. "Once upon a time I was like them," he said. "I used to line up outside the fence just waiting and waiting." Until this moment. "It feels good!" said a kid grinning in the pool.

Fierce is spending the summer with her grandmother. "When I first came out here I didn't think it was going to be that much fun, but now that we have a pool to swim in it's going to be fun."

Fun might be an understatement. Kids were so happy, they were dancing. Johnson said it's those moments that compelled him to be a lifeguard at the Jones Park Pool. He said opening this pool means the world to some of these kids.

"I'd rather see them swim with the gate open rather than climbing over the fence and something bad happening," said Johnson.

Under the smoldering sun it's nice to know there's a safe escape. "Usually we just sit at home and watch TV because it's so hot outside, but now we get to come here and swim in the pool," said Fierce.

"I'll be back next year and next year and next year and we won't have these problems anymore," said Johnson.

So, next summer when Fierce comes back to visit her grandmother she has a cool getaway.

The Jones Park Pool is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

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