STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — When temperatures heat up, Stocktonians flock to Victory Park, home to the Haggin Museum.
“I consider Victory Park an absolute jewel of Stockton, and even of San Joaquin County,” said Katya Evanhoe.
For Evanhoe, Victory Park is not just a neighborhood amenity, it’s a park full of memories.
“I swam in the Victory Park pool in the… ‘60s,” she told FOX40. “I had two boys and they swam in that pool, too.”
She said the park used to have it all: paved walking paths, open green space and a once-packed public pool.
But now, the pool sits empty, like it has for the last 13 years.
“It was this vibrant center, kids playing, laughing,” Evanhoe said. “There were people had swimming lessons there. There would be people doing laps there. Marco Polo games always, that was real big.”
Now, neighbors say the pool is an eyesore in an otherwise beautiful park.
“Why would this pool be sitting there empty in one of the most used parks in the area,” Evanhoe said. “It just doesn’t make any sense.”
Evanhoe said she wants new generations to have memories there, too. That’s why for years she has been leading the charge to get the city to replace the pool, but she said it keeps getting put on the back burner.
“It is a necessary amenity and we realize that,” said city of Stockton spokeswoman Connie Cochran.
Cochran said the pool originally built in 1947 had to be shut down in 2008 because it had deteriorated past the point of repair.
She said the city recognizes the importance of the pool and thanks to the Measure M tax passed by residents in 2016, there is now funding for the future project.
“We are preparing a budget for the upcoming 21-22 budget. And in that budget, there’s money for Victory Park pool, $1.5 million to essentially rebuild the pool,” Cochran explained. “It’s quite clear that the community wanted this pool and needs this pool, and that’s why it’s happening.”