- FUN FEATURES
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It’s a brisk September afternoon at the Cheshire Community Pool, but those in the water have nothing to worry about as they swim in the 83-degree water.
Swimmers who hop in and out of the water however, might want to bring some extra towels to keep warm, as the pool won’t be transformed into an indoor facility until sometime in October. Construction on the roof of the permanent building began earlier this week, and workers continue to rebuild the inside of the facility. Typically, the pool closes down for two weeks in September so the bubble can be reinstalled. This year, however, things are a little bit different. The bubble creates a lot of pressure in the building, and the work on the building cannot be completed while it’s attached. So, the Cheshire Community Pool remains open as an outdoor facility, weather permitting, for whoever wants to go for a dip.
“This is the latest we’ve been open like this, absolutely,” explained Sheila Adams, aquatics director for the pool. “Our faithful swimmers are happy we’re still open, but our load is definitely down. I wonder if others think we’re open.”
Construction equipment, dumpsters, and orange fencing surround the front of the building as workers fix the structure. Earlier this year, mold and mildew were found in the building after workers complained of respiratory problems. The inside of the building was gutted and is being replaced with more water resistant material. Through the Capital Budget, the Town Council appropriated additional money to repair the outside of the building and the roof, at the recommendation of a consultant.
While the pool will remain open to whoever wants to go for a swim, local swim teams are scrambling to find a new home for the next few weeks. Lap swimmers have no issues at this time, because they remain in the water for most of swim practice, however, the divers that are routinely in and out of the water will most likely be swimming elsewhere starting next week. This week, a small tub with warm water was stationed outside of the pool to help divers stay warm before their next attempt.
Athletic Director Steve Trifone said the weather has cooperated thus far and it has been pleasant for the team to be outside this late in the year. However, with late September and early October typically the start of colder weather, Trifone said he would be looking for pool space for the divers, starting next week.
“We are looking at getting them to an indoor facility right now,” Trifone said. “The water is still warm for the swimmers, so we’ll continue to swim there as long as we can.”
However, it’s an inevitability that the bubble will be reattached and the pool will be forced to close for up to two weeks. Usually, it’s not that much of a scramble because the swim season has yet to kick into full gear, but this time around, swim meets will have already occurred.
“That will be in the heat of the season, we will really be into it when the bubble goes up,” Trifone said. “We will try and use Cheshire Academy, but we’ll still need to find other facilities because of the size of the teams. We’ll probably end up at three locations.”
Trifone said the divers will most likely be at one spot, and the swimmers will be broken up into two other locations. Buses will be needed to transport the students, the cost of which Trifone was unsure of at this time. However, he hoped to use the money the department would have spent to reserve pool time in Cheshire to rent buses and pool time at other locations.
“If I can find a facility to use at minimal or no cost, that obviously is what I’ll be shooting for,” Trifone said. “This is a unique situation because we’ll have to spread people out, but I’m trying to minimize that as well.”
Cheshire High School girls swim coach Ed Aston said the swimmers would be fine for now, but “feels bad” for the divers that could potentially be outside in October.
“We have to keep them in the water,” Aston said. “I feel bad about the divers practicing in October.”
Aston explained that splitting the team into three groups would break up chemistry, saying it’s “hard to build up a team when you’re not together.” Aston said it’s hard to find pool time for the team because other teams in the area rely on those facilities. He described the situation as “frustrating” and wished the Town had kept the team in the loop from the start.
“I think they could be more organized with getting us information beforehand,” Aston said. “It would help to include us in the process. That’s what I don’t understand.”