It struck us this weekend in City Park that two terrific Manhattan assets really ought to be paired together: K-State students and City Pool.
The pool is closed. As you probably know, its season ended more than a week ago, on Aug. 11. This is absurd. The notion that our great new pool is unavailable during some of the hottest weeks of the year would be funny if it weren’t so dumb.
City officials say they can’t keep the pool open past that because the high school and college kids that typically fill lifeguard positions won’t work past that time. The high school kids have to get go back to school, and the college kids leave town or start gearing up for their academic year.
Whatever. We’ll concede that point.
So here’s another suggestion: Why not train a bunch of K-State students to fill the gap?
It’s actually a pretty good fit. The same time that high school kids have to quit and some college kids leave town, K-State students start flooding back here. First come the sorority girls for rush, then the balance of the student population. Doubt us? Obviously, you didn’t go to Wal-Mart this past weekend. It’s a crush.
Somehow, of those 20,000 students, it seems to us that there are probably a few dozen kids who worked as lifeguards elsewhere (or even here) over the summer. They might be fraternity or sorority members looking for a service project, or they might want to earn a few bucks for pizza.
We concede we’re not experts in the field. But it just seems like there would be enough people to staff the pool through Labor Day.
The city government routinely meets with university officials, along with folks from the counties and the school district. They call it the “intergovernmental” meeting. Perhaps that’d be a good place to start a discussion about this.
We’ve been lucky with the weather this year – August has been remarkably cool. But lots of times at this time of the year, it’s broiling, and having that terrific pool shuttered seems like a cruel joke. Let’s see if we could prevent that from happening next August.