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New pool named after woman who worked tirelessly for parks

Kansas City Parks and Rec opened its newest pool yesterday having named it the Gorman Pool after Anita B. Gorman. The pool is located at 1101 NE 47th Street in the Northland.

Gorman, a well-known local Christian, was also the first woman to serve on the Kansas City, Missouri Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners.

At 17 years of age, she was city-wide president of Y-Teen, a group associated with the YWCA. She graduated from William Jewell College and earned a master’s degree from Boston University. She married Gerald Gorman in 1954.

She has devoted her life to civic and community improvements.

She said her daughter was the first person to swim in the pool when the YMCA first opened it about 50 years ago.

The pool used to be part of the YMCA. When the YMCA closed, Kansas City bought the property. It spent about $2.8 million renovating the outdoor pool and building a new house for restrooms, concessions, and showers.

A third of the money came from the city’s Public Improvements Advisory Council. About $1.8 million came from the North Oak Tax Increment Financing district, which taxes businesses along North Oak Trafficway.

The parks department said people living in the community made having a neighborhood pool their top priority.

Gorman continues her work on behalf of the region’s parks and recreation options and is now helping raise money to pay for swim lessons at the new pool.

“If you look at statistics, you’ll notice not knowing how to swim is a real problem for children. There’s a very high denominator for children dying. We don’t need that,” she explained.

The pool will remain open until August 12. Its hours of operation are Monday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m. and on weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.