#HerefordSC: Aquatic center still providing family entertainment 20 years later

HEREFORD, TX (KFDA) - In Small Town, U.S.A., many people may believe there is nothing for families to do together during their spare time.

That doesn't seem to be the case in Hereford, Texas.

Residents there came together 21 years ago and saw at least one need in their community: A good way to spend that quality family time. The rest, as they say, is history.

"There are more things for kids to do, more activities, and I don't mean necessarily physical things, but just things in general," Mayor Tom Simons said. "People have looked after the kids in this community as well as they could and I think the [Hereford] Aquatic Center is a great example of that."

The Hereford Aquatic Center was built with local and donated funds and community members with a passion for their town.

"People who volunteered their services to pour concrete and that sort of thing, and because of all that it did not require a bond and it was done," Simons said. "And the city did it but the county was involved in it as was the school and other entities as well."

And Simons thinks the center, along with other attractions, has made Hereford a better place to live. He says 21 years later, Hereford is still seeing new benefits.

"It's great for the City of Hereford because it provides numerous swimming programs for children and adults alike and it's also adjacent to our Y.M.C.A., which makes it very attractive."

Getting children out of the house during the summer season is challenging for some parents. But the Hereford Aquatic Center gives kids and adults a fun -- and outside -- place to go.

"I sometimes worry about our children and cell phones and that sort of thing," said Sid Shaw, the executive director for Deaf Smith County's Chamber of Commerce. "I mean, it is pretty easy to get occupied with those sorts of things and I want us, not just in Hereford but everywhere, to have activities and things available for the kids so they can have other things available other than sit inside and watch a screen. There is open swim for everyone almost every day."

"It's just a fun place to go," said 9-year-old Tell Bryant. "I like hanging out with my friends there. They have this awesome big slide that I like sliding down and they have a basketball goal and they have a swim team and aerobics. There is really everything. I mean there is something for everyone."

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