Public Not Happy with Aquatics Park Changes

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Citizens who came to a joint meeting of the Fort Smith Board of Directors and Sebastian County Quorum Court expressed anger and frustration over changes to the Ben Geren Aquatic Center meant to keep the project within an $8 million price tag previously agreed upon between the city and county.

During a portion of the meeting set aside for public comment, six Ramsey Junior High freshman came forward to express disappointment regarding the redesign.

“We like the rush of the water and the feeling of the bubbles and quite frankly, Creekmore (Park’s pool) is too small for all the teens,” said Shelby Barton, a freshman at the school. “The original plan for the aquatic center would provide more room for more fun things.”

Ramsey English teacher Michele Walker echoed those sentiments, presenting a petition signed by 45 students that asked the quorum court and the board to reconsider changes to the project.

“I’m an expert on teenagers. I know what they want. I know what they like,” Walker said. “I was afraid when you showed those plans right there, they would not like them. I was right.” Click here to read the full story from our partners at