SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 1, 2013

Pool project up for vote Monday

Is it 'waterworld' or a worthwhile investment?

(Continued)

Emily Sumner, who served on the Pool Committee that looked into the different options, disagrees with the “waterworld” claim.

“There is no fountain. There are no big slides,” she said. “There is nothing crazy. It doesn’t have anything over-the-top. It will accommodate our community comfortably.”

Sumner worked on the Friends of Patton Park’s push to raise money to build a new playground at the park. The group is helping spread the message about the pool effort and encouraging residents to vote yes.

“We believe this pool project is an incredible investment and asset to our community,” Sumner said, noting that people of all ages can use the pool.

As for the complaint that it will be open only during the summer, she said it’s well worth the investment.

“That is when everyone is outside,” she said. “That is how we build a community.”

Timmons said the new pool with meet all current codes and allow for expanded programming for people of all ages. Many programs, such as a swim team, swimming lessons, lap swimming and family swim, can all occur at the same time, he said, which is not the case now.

The Hamilton-Wenham Recreation Committee unanimously approved the proposal.

“Those were the features the Recreation Committee thought were appropriate for the programs we want to offer,” Timmons said.

The zero-entry pool makes it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and makes the pool accessible for all ages, from young children just learning to swim to the elderly. It will open up to an activity area, which can be used for swim lessons and water exercise groups.

While connected, the six-lane lap pool is separate from the activity area, according to conceptual plans.

The pool is used by the Hamilton-Wenham Recreation summer programs, but the Wenham Community Preservation Committee refused to approve funding for the project.

Wenham could decide to contribute to the project in the future, or Hamilton could charge Wenham residents extra to use the pool complex if it is built.

If approved, the project is expected to be completed by July 2014.

Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at jphelps@salemnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.

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