DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The city of Durham has announced plans to spend $31 million to build a new swimming pool at the former Wheels Fun Park site.

Sunday, protesters held a peaceful demonstration to talk about the significance of the event center and why the city hadn’t made any plans for the space since 2020.

Dwyn Silver is a secretary for Partners Against Crime District 1. The group, which works with city and county partners, came together in the 1970s to address crime on the community level.

Silver said the former Wheels Fun Park was one tool they had to keep young people busy and productive to prevent crime from happening.

She also said the park was personal for her because her daughter and niece used to skate there.

Silver shared a reaction to the event space closing down from a person who said Wheels Fun Park had changed his life.

“’Wheels? They’re going to close Wheels?’ He says ‘Oh No…..Wheels saved me.’ Now we don’t know what that means. Did it save him from boredom? Did it save him from the streets? Did it save him from gangs? But whatever it is, it has a significance for both men and women in this community. And it does need to stay open,” Silver said at the gathering Sunday.

During Sunday’s protest, participants were asked to sign a petition that asks for the reopening of the park.

Silver said if anyone wants to sign the petition she will be outside different Food Lions across the city, before presenting the petition to the city council on June 6.