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Shreveport recently announced an agreement with a pool management company out of Atlanta to take over the management and maintenance of all 5 of Shreveport's public swimming pools.  For the past 13 years, management of the pools has been handled by Shreveport based non-profit Rock Solid. So naturally, this abrupt change in management brings up questions. Were there issues with the current management?  Was the bid lower from from the new company?  Does the new company provide more services for the same or less money?  According to Shelly McMillian, CEO of Rock Solid, in the 13 years Rock Solid has managed the pools, she has never had to bid on the job.  Why a bid process now?

Let me say, if the management of ANY city project, whether it's trash pickup or dog catching, can be handled more efficiently, less expensively, and safely by outsourcing, I'm all for it.  Even if that company is not from Shreveport.  But as I said, this abrupt change just brings up questions... KEEL News spoke to Shelly to get her reaction about the change.

Rock solid is a local non profit serving local community, employing local youth and as a result our community wins! We have paid the staffing, the chemicals, the insurance, the cleaning supplies, the swim lessons, the workman’s comp, etc and even if we had to raise the money to cover a deficit we found a way and always will!

After the drowning tragedy in 2010 where 6 local children drowned in the Red River, Rock Solid created Project Swim, which was funded by grants obtained by former Mayor Cedric Glover.

One teenager went in to the red River and was drowning, he got out but the 6 that went in to save him drowned! It was devastating for the families, the mayor and certainly our community! That next day Mayor Glover and  I decided that we would guarantee that our community would never see a day like that again! We got to know the families and together, Rock solid wrote PROJECT SWIM and mayor Glover got it funded! We have taught every member of those 2 families how to swim for free! And since that day we have taught over 18,000 community residents how to swim for free! We have served over 650,000 participants, we have served the senior citizens of our community, the single moms, the inner city families, day cares, churches, etc.

Again, I'm not necessarily opposed to another company taking over, but I would like to have the information on how/why the decision was made.

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