Budget approved for Roosevelt HS pool to open for public use

Local residents testified in front of the DC Council to get funding approved for the 2020 budget.

The DC Council has passed two votes so far on approving additional funding for the construction and other changes needed to open the pool at Roosevelt High School for local residential use.

According to ANC 4C Commissioner Debbie Matties, “The fiscal year 2020 budget now includes funding for the separate public entrance for the Roosevelt pool.” To be permanent, there is one more final vote on May 28th and then it requires the Mayor's signature and Congressional 30 day approval.

The request that precipitated this funding allocation is to add a new entrance to Roosevelt High School that would allow non-students to use the school’s pool when not being used by the school. To do so, a new entrance will need to be constructed, along with some other physical changes, to ensure the security of the school building and allow the Department of Parks and Recreation to manage the pool once opened.

Roosevelt pool (courtesy DCPS / Twitter)

Commissioner Matties informed residents in an email earlier this month, saying “We wouldn't have this outcome without your work responding to the survey, getting your friends and neighbors involved, calling and emailing councilmembers and ANC commissioners directly, and testifying in person. YOU made this happen. Keep your fingers crossed, and send notes of thanks and support to your Councilmembers. Special thanks to Councilmember Todd for rallying his colleagues!”

The group of ANC commissioners and residents pushing for the change believe opening the pool will offer the community benefits:

  • Improved health and fitness

  • Access for all, regardless of age or income

  • Opportunity for everyone to learn to swim, an important and lifesaving skill

  • Convenience to walk, bike, or metro to a pool in our neighborhood

  • Reduced traffic and pollution traveling to other pools, less crowding at other pools

  • Greater sense of camaraderie and neighborliness that strengthen relationships in our community

  • Opportunity for additional engagement between Roosevelt High School and the community

  • Increased foot traffic for nearby businesses

Whether or not all the above happen, certainly adding a year-round pool offers greater choice to residents, especially during colder months when the other DPR pools are closed.

If the budget passes a third vote, gets Mayoral approval and gets past the Congressional review period, then work would not start until the fiscal year 2020, meaning it’ll be some time until the pool opens for the community.