The Bensalem Township School District board of school directors agreed during its recent meeting to make a final decision on the fate of the pool at Robert K. Shafer Middle School in late summer/early fall. Options are to either refurbish the pool or shut it down permanently.
Despite an online petition being signed by almost 1,400 at the time of publication to keep the beloved pool in operation, this is easier said than done, according to the board. Stephanie Ferrandez, who wants to see the pool stay open, explained that the board is “going to be considering some bigger things,” including a revamp of the middle schools.
The board is currently working to figure out the total cost of the pool refurbishment before making any sort of decision.
For over 30 years, the Shafer pool has been utilized for programs such as Bensalem Aquatics, children’s swim lessons, senior swimming and lifeguard training. A large number of residents think closing the pool would be a great loss to the township, especially the young swimmers of St. Charles and St. Ephrem, who would be displaced.
“I’ve worked at this pool off and on over the last 20 years as an instructor,” said Phillip Mudra on the Change.org page. “I absolutely love working here. It’s a great program. I’ve taught thousands of kids to swim while being employed here. We would be doing a great disservice to the community if we close it. The township has already closed down so many other places for kids and adults to get together and exercise and have fun.”
“The community has lost too much already,” said Angela Schoell. “They need something to look forward to. My daughter learned to swim in that pool, as did many other children. For some, it is their only getaway.”