SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

May 1, 2014

Salem Y to take over Forest River pool

BY TOM DALTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — The Salem YMCA now has three swimming pools to manage.

In addition to the two pools at its facility on Sewall Street, the Salem Y is about to take over management of the city’s outdoor pool in Forest River Park.

The Park and Recreation board voted earlier this month to enter into a one-year contract with the Y.

Park Director Karen Partanen recommended hiring the YMCA because they are “experts” in pool operations and can run it more efficiently and with more programming, according to Chris Burke, chairman of the park board.

A top YMCA official said they look forward to the challenge.

“One of the things we’ve been focused on ... is more engagement and more activity in the community ... and expanding our outreach,” said Jason Silva, executive director of the Salem YMCA.

Under the Y’s management, the Forest River pool is expected to add a number of programs and events. In addition to swim instruction, the Y has proposed inner-tube water polo, introductory mask and snorkel instruction, a citywide swim meet, a water ballet competition, a movie night and aqua fitness and stroke clinics.

The city will continue to handle maintenance of the pool. The YMCA will provide lifeguards, swim instructors and other staff.

The large outdoor pool is in operation during the summer and usually opens when the school year ends in late June.

Tom Dalton can be reached at tdalton@salemnews.com.