Press Release 4/28/16 Re: Myers Memorial Pool

Press Release 4/28/16 Re: Myers Memorial Pool from Ray Coffey, Director of Community Services:

Over the past few months staff from the City’s Community Services and Public Works Department have been working (with strong support from a group of volunteer residents, as well as with the Greater Burlington YMCA) to assess the existing conditions of the Myers Memorial Pool, and to make a determination as to whether to open the facility for the summer of 2016.  The City contracted with an engineering firm with significant experience in aquatics to assess the Pool and provide recommendations for what it would take to safely open for this summer.  “Based on the findings from that visit, and after weighing all our options, we’ve made the very difficult decision that we will not be opening the Myers Memorial Pool for this summer, and instead will be moving ahead with temporary alternative plans for swimming and recreational opportunities for the Winooski community,” said Ray Coffey, Community Services Director with the City of Winooski.  The City is working closely with the YMCA to finalize the details of what these alternatives will look like (including both swimming and non-swimming options for youth and families), and will begin advertising these in the coming weeks.

“There was a laundry list of concerns highlighted during the engineer’s site visit, and while some would be pretty easy to address, many of the bigger items had serious safety ramifications for both staff and swimmers,” said Coffey.  “In our estimation, the resources needed to address them did not make sense for a facility that we know we would be closing after this year anyway.  This feels like a decision that we must make in order to uphold our job of keeping people safe, and also being responsible stewards of public funds.”

There will be a full report on the engineer’s findings that will be made publicly available via the City’s website (www.winooskivt.org) in early May.

Work is underway on a replacement plan for the Myers Pool Facility, and there is a volunteer Pool Feasibility and Design Team meeting regularly to discuss next steps and move the City towards a draft plan for pool replacement.  These meetings, which are open to the public, will be advertised on the City’s website as they are scheduled.  There will also be a significant public engagement process over the summer months in an effort to create a replacement plan that meets the community’s needs and interests, both current and future.  “This is not a decision we came to lightly, and we want to acknowledge that this has real impact on our residents,” said Coffey.  “The public turned out en masse back in January when this was discussed as part of the City’s budget process, and we really hope that passion and energy will be part of our efforts to plan what’s next, both short and long term.”  Questions or concerns can be directed to Community Services Director Ray Coffey at rscoffey@winooskivt.org.

The Myers Memorial Pool, which is named after former Winooski resident Kenneth Myers, was originally built in 1972.