ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A Stamford teen who used to be a lifeguard is now trying to resuscitate the city pool.
During the winter, you won’t hear the playful screams of children having fun at the Stamford city pool or water lapping onto the pavement after a big splash.
Even though he’s not sitting tall scanning the water, 18-year-old Luke Thane is still keeping an eye on the pool.
“The people in our community deserve better than what they’re getting,” said Thane.
Thane started as a lifeguard the summer after his freshman year of high school.
“One day I was sitting in the lifeguard stand and looking around and I thought to myself this place needs a lot of improvement,” said Thane.
The city pool has been around for decades, and like most small-town pools without funding, this one has suffered.
“A lot of people had always told me, ‘You don’t want to go to the city pool, it’s just not nice,'” said Thane.
Most teenagers wouldn’t think twice about it, but Luke decided to make it his mission to change the stigma.
“This community has always invested so much time in me,” said Thane. “If they can invest that much time into me, there’s no reason I can’t invest that time back into the community.”
“We were just like, ‘Yeah, get after it, let’s do it,'” said Stamford Mayor James Decker.
Decker has been working to better the city during his time in office, and now he’s got a right-hand man to help him, even if he’s younger than expected.
“Our young people are the future of our communities,” said Decker.
Decker and Thane have been working alongside other city leaders to make improvements to the pool.
“They replaced all of the benches and all of the tables, they put new stalls in the bathroom, they fixed many of the doors here,” said Thane.
It isn’t always easy, but Thane never let his age define his dreams.
Luke is headed off to Liberty University in the fall but that doesn’t mean all the work goes to waste.
“Even though my location changes, the mission doesn’t change,” said Thane.
A year from now he may not be saving lives at the pool anymore, but he will still be saving the pool itself.