TAMPA - There were a lot of people in suits who were way overdressed for a swim this morning as the City of Tampa welcomed bathers back to the Williams Park Pool.
"As you can see by the kids that are here today, this is a place that's going to be safe and its going to be an environment we're going to want our kids in," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "It's going to be a great way to stay cool for the summer."
And it's a great way for the Buckhorn administration to get out of some hot water and score some points in this section of the city, after this pool -- a relied-upon-resource -- dried up and appeared to be all but abandoned.
Four years ago, in 2009, the pool was closed down because of health and safety violations, but today it's open for business.
"And its a family pool," said Misty Farrington, visiting today with a total of 13 kids. "Because it goes from six inches, so everybody can enjoy the pool."
For the first-day splashers, and even those who simply wanted to peek inside the gates, this was a good day that was a long time coming.
"This is awesome, this is beautiful," said Kevin Roach. "And they've been working on it day and night. I wasn't expecting it to be done this soon, but that's what's up, it's a blessing."
And this neighborhood is blessed to have a man like Sam Kinsey working so closely with the city to get this $1.3 million project pushed through.
"And when the pool was closed , it was sort of a real setback for our community," the community liaison with the city explained. "And so our our neighborhood association fought to try to get this pool reopened for the children of this community and for the surrounding communities. And so today is a good day."
With the addition today of Williams Pool, the city has four seasonal and six year-round public pools.
Two facilities, Goss and Lopez, are shuttered still, while Cuscaden Pool in Ybor and the Jenkins Pool on Davis Island are in line for repairs next, as these old water holes get some new life.