For best friends Lena Collins and Taylor Lindley, the super splash park was their home away from home.
“I look at it and I'm like, I learned how to swim here, I teached kids how to swim here,” Collins said.
“We would always find a way to come back up here,” Lindley said
But park leaders say the 50-year-old pool is starting to show its age -- which is why they voted to close the only city-owned park for at least a year, maybe longer.
“It’s a painful decision 'cause it's been around for quite some time, but frankly we've been fighting competition,” Park Board President Terry Copeland said.
With costly repairs and low attendance numbers in recent years, Copeland says it’s been hard to keep up.
“We saw over the last five or six years, our attendance go from 85,000, down to -- last season -- 29,000 and some change,” Copeland said. “Finally just hit the breaking point that so many repairs are required to keep it safe, we just couldn't keep up with it.”
For Collins and Lindley, seeing the empty the pool is tough after making so many memories there.
“It kind of breaks my heart,” Collins said.
So she and her friends decided to do something about it.
“We all sat around the dinner table and asked what could we really do,” Collins said. “And I said a petition. How many people can we have to have our backs?”
Now, more than 650 signatures are on the petition. Collins says once there are 1,000 signatures, she will present it to the Raytown Board of Aldermen.
Copeland says right now the board is not going to reopen the park until they can figure out a way to fund it at a level that works.
“Our intention as a board is to put something in front of voters that would include a water feature, whether it's a reconfigured Super Splash or whether it's splash pads, or a smaller community pool, that's to be worked out,” he said. “As far as it opening up as it is right now, I don't think that will happen.”