Northwest Arkansas State Park Pool Unsafe, Closed All Summer

HUNTSVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A half-century-old swimming pool that anchors a northwest Arkansas state park is being closed all summer because of safety concerns.

Arkansas state park officials say they fear the supporting walls at the pool at Withrow Springs State Park could fail, so they're keeping visitors to the park, located about 25 miles east of Fayetteville, away from the pool.

Visitors to the park on Sunday (June 3) say they were disappointed to see the pool closed down.

Vicki Watkins traveled to the area with her two grandchildren for a quick swim.

They may have been surprised to hear the news but Watkins is happy that the park took these steps to keep people safe.

Going to that pool is a summer tradition for Madison Loghry and her family.

She said they usually go every other week.

When she heard about the closing, she just had one thought.

"I was sad," Loghry said. "I wasn’t very excited for it to happen."

The park's agency says what happens next isn't certain, but says repairs would be costly and time consuming. An engineering study last year recommended replacing part of the pool deck and walls to a mechanical room.

Withrow Springs State Park Superintendent Earl Minton says the pool was built in 1967 and 1968 and renovated 20 years ago. It's one of seven Arkansas state parks with a swimming pool.

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