GASTONIA, N.C. -- The hopes for opening the newly refurbished Lineberger Park swimming pool in time for Memorial Day have officially been dashed.
Back in early May, when the refurbishing project was nearly complete, someone came along and dumped a bag of concrete mix into the pool.
The mix hardened and the pool had to be drained so the mess could be power-washed and cleaned.
"That's sad," said Elijah Clinton, who was at the park with his mother and other family members Friday.
The Clintons and other families had to settle for a new sprinkler system at the park to keep cool on a warm, late spring night. But it was not the same as a new pool with a fancy slide.
"I really wanted it to open because it is a very big one. I've never been in such a big pool," Elijah said, as he looked through the chain link fence that still wraps around the new pool.
The pool refurbishment was part of a $2.5 million renovation of the entire park, which is located on West Garrison Boulevard.
"For some hoodlums to come in and tear it up before anybody ever had the opportunity to play in it, that's just wrong," said Elijah's mother, Bobbie Clinton.
The Gastonia Recreation Department is hoping to have the pool work completed so it can finally open in about two or three weeks.