The opening of the North Park pool in Opelousas has excited many recently.
According to the ones who helped open the pool, it provides much more to the community than a day out.
“We have 400 kids that is registered to swim for swimming lessons which is unheard of,” says Opelousas Mayor Reggie Tatum.
Tatum and others who have been a part of the opening say there is a trickle effect that goes along with it.
First and foremost, it is there to transform Opelousas into a place with a ‘swim culture.’
The pool draws in adults as well with 50 already signed up to learn to swim and every Wednesday is a night just for them.
“We play old school music. We play music from Motown like back in the day, Temptations, Four Tops,” says Tatum.
Tatum says the increase in pool activity directly translates to one of the area’s biggest problems.
“You know it’s heart healthy so people, adults can go. You know we do have an obesity problem here in Louisiana…not just in Opelousas and St. Landry Parish but the whole state,” says Tatum.
Economically, Tatum says local businesses provide chemicals for the pool.
It also has created several jobs with the pool needing lifeguards and providing other live-saving courses.
As light-hearted as the pool may seem to be, it also has a hard-hitting issue it is taking care of; crime.
When it comes to kids and adults, it gives them something to do instead of being out on the street causing problems.
“You know they always say an idle mind is the devil’s workshop well you know they aren’t idle anymore. They come here and they can swim all day,” says Tatum.
Tatum says the pool will be open to summer camps in the near future.