Around 40 people gathered Wednesday evening to mourn the loss of Berkeley High's warm pool with a "funeral," organized in defeat by the Berkeley Pools Campaign after years of fighting to keep the pool open.
A mock coffin was carried into the pool, participants held candles and a series of inter-faith prayers were said — accompanied by the ringing of Tibeten bells.
The pool will be demolished next summer as part of the school district's plan to add more classroom and gymnasium space to .
In a statement about the warm pool funeral, the Berkeley Pools Campaign accused City of Berkeley leadership of "allowing the Warm Pool to close without any real effort to provide or plan for a replacement facility" and therefore "undermining its longtime status as pioneer of the nationwide movement for the rights of the disabled."
According to Robert Collier, co-chair of the Berkeley Schools Campain, the city has suggested that the nearby Berkeley YMCA pools are an acceptable alternative to the warm pool. However, Collier says, the City’s Commission on Disability agrees that the YMCA pools will not be suitable for all.
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