PHILADELPHIA (June 21, 2022) – Today, Mayor Jim Kenney joined City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District), community members, and City officials to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the $4 million Rebuild project at Francis Lederer “Swimmo” Pool at Fishtown Recreation Center and celebrate the start of pool season.
Closed in 2016 and in need of significant repairs to be able to operate again, residents and neighbors advocated that “Swimmo” be included in Rebuild’s investments coming to the Fishtown Recreation Center.
“Rebuild’s diverse set of investments ensures a multitude of community assets are revitalized across the city,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Today marks a new era for the ‘Swimmo’ here in Fishtown and I’m excited to see families and children enjoy this new neighborhood asset.”
“I want to thank every Fishtown neighbor and resident who advocated tirelessly for this swimming pool project to be included on the Rebuild list,” said City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District). “Like many neighborhoods, Fishtowners are proud of their community and their public spaces, and having their swimming pool revitalized and reopened is very important to them. Philadelphians deserve high-quality spaces to recreate, and the renovations to ‘Swimmo’ guarantee Fishtown residents a beautiful place to cool off in the summertime.”
A part of the City of Philadelphia’s Rebuild initiative, a historic investment in public spaces, this project will revitalize an important public space at the corner of Montgomery Ave and Moyer Street serving neighbors and residents throughout this area of Philadelphia. Rebuild is funded by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax and the William Penn Foundation’s transformational investment of $100 million towards the program.
“Every neighborhood in Philadelphia should have access to high-quality public spaces, and thanks to Rebuild, we are seeing this happen with 70+ projects across the city, including Fishtown’s famous ‘Swimmo’,” explained Shawn McCaney, Executive Director of the William Penn Foundation. “The William Penn Foundation’s $100 million investment in Rebuild – the largest grant in the Foundation’s history – is more than an investment in infrastructure, it is an investment in the health and wellbeing of the residents of the city.”
Fishtown residents can enjoy the following improvements to the pool:
A brand new, 2,460 square feet pool
A new concrete pool deck
A partially shaded new sprayground
An art piece by Carin Mincemoyer referencing the nearby Delaware River
“With over $30 million of Rebuild projects cutting the ribbon or breaking ground across the city this summer, we at Rebuild are so excited the ‘Swimmo’ is a part of that momentum,” said Kira Strong, Executive Director of Rebuild. “Equitable access to safe, clean and ready-to-use facilities is our top priority and we look forward to bringing improvements like the pool at Fishtown Recreation Center to residents all over our City.”
Today’s ribbon cutting is a part of a larger block party celebrating the project as part of Wawa Welcome America, Philadelphia’s premier July 4th festival and one of the largest free festivals in the country. Wawa Welcome America offers residents and visitors alike sixteen days of free, family-friendly programming across the city, including free concerts, fireworks, Wawa Hoagie Day, free museum access, and more!
“Wawa Welcome America is Philadelphia’s celebration of all that makes our communities great,” said Michael DelBene, President & CEO of Welcome America, Inc. “Our partnership with Rebuild this year highlights the important work the City and our neighborhoods are doing to revitalize community assets embraced and loved by Philadelphians. Wawa Welcome America is delighted to support our City in this fun and engaging way.”
“Pool season has officially begun in Philadelphia,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner for Parks and Recreation. “I want to thank all of our hardworking lifeguards and pool staff that worked tirelessly with our team to open as many pools this season as possible.”
Rebuild is a historic investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries across Philadelphia. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as a part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild’s promise to acknowledge history, engage the community and invest intentionally seeks to uplift pivotal community spaces, empower neighborhoods, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion.
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of its people through stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways, and management of 500 recreation buildings, 166 miles of trail, and 250 playgrounds. PPR offers safe, enjoyable recreation, environmental and cultural programs and events throughout Philadelphia’s parks and recreation system. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. In 2017, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, set about implementing the park system’s first strategic plan: Our Path to 2020 and Beyond. As a result, PPR is undertaking a period of historic change, setting the department on a course to become a modern, equitable and exceptional parks and recreation system. Visit us at www.phila.gov/parksandrec, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.