Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rehab augmentation for our community.

My son's Cheshire lacrosse coach Mike Weed recently had a stroke at the frighteningly young age of 37. He is making slow but steady progress. He begins aqua therapy this week at his rehab facility..

It is important to realize that our pool... offers a critical resource to those rehabbing from strokes and injuries. It is accessible for those with physical challenges. It has a chair lift and is fully accessible. When insurance stops paying for physical therapy a person may continue their progress by using our pool. We are incredibly fortunate to have that option. It's a godsend to many.

Thank you for supporting out Community effort. Please support the Weed family too on Father's Day Weekend. They are a wonderful Cheshire family who have given a lot to our town. https://www.facebook.com/events/602608769764029

Compelling facts about the Community Pool

The Cheshire Community Pool is an asset to the community.
  Here are some compelling facts:

·         Since installing the new bubble the pool was more popular than ever.  Ms. Adams, at the May 9th meeting stated that there was a 45% increase in visitors to the Community Pool after the new bubble was installed last year.

·         This past fiscal year the pool was on pace to bring in a record $600,000 in revenue. 

·         Pool revenue has grown consistently by 5% a year

·         Without a town pool, the town will spend $69,000 dollars approx. to transport the high school teams and rent another facility for their swim season should there be no pool available.

·         Closing the pool would cost between $1.25million and $1.5 million dollars and the town will be left with a further $1.5 million in bonds.

·         Cheshire Community Pool hosts numerous swim meets including State Championship meets.People come from all over the state to attend these meets.

·         The meets draw an large amount of people bringing a huge, captive, spending audience from all corners of the state benefiting businesses on Main Street.

·         The Cheshire pool is an important asset that regularly benefits the local economy.
Bursting bubbles- understanding the past to make better decisions in the future.

The Cheshire Pool Evaluation Committee is tasked with examining all options with regard to the pool. Some may be less popular than others but ALL possibilities, in the interest of fairness, have to be examined. That includes the reinstalling an air supported bubble. Here is a snapshot of examining this option.

Sheila Adams, Aquatic Director, brought a wealth of information and experience to the meeting of 5.2.2013. Ms. Adams provided an overview of its recent history, structure and performance and gave the public a good starting point on which to analyze solutions.

This January during the record-setting blizzard 6 bubbles came down in Connecticut. Cheshire's bubble was the only one totaled. All the others are back up and operational. Cheshire's is not the biggest bubble, nor is it the only pool facility that was impacted by this incredible storm.  It appears that it's the bubble’s inner support structure that was at fault. The giant stanchions, that are unique to the Cheshire pool punctured the bubble rendering it beyond repair.

 Cheshire, by virtue of its inner support structure,  cannot drop the bubble in the face of a storm.  It was totaled as soon as it came down. "The biggest issue is once the dome comes down the building official deems the building to be condemned. No one can go out on deck; the support structure cannot be removed and the bubble must be cut down". "Ms. Adams explained that if we did not have the current interior support structure, the bubble could have been repaired- both times." (minutes 5.2.13). Two of the six collapsed bubbles in the state were taken down intentionally (Northford and Winsted). Cheshire cannot do this because of the unique support structure inside the building.

The committee examined the support structures of Wilton, Madison, Winsted, Northford and Tolland. Those without the large wire stanchions that are at the Cheshire Community Pool, did well. Building codes dictated the engineering design of the Cheshire pool. Danbury has a larger bubble without stanchions. It's not our size that's the issue. It's that we did not have an exemption to the code.

Ms. Adams consulted the manufacturer of the bubble during the storm and was told that without the large support columns they would have advised the staff at CCP to drop the bubble to the ground thus avoiding the collapse. Sheila also noted that the bubble made it through the hurricane.

After this most recent failure of the bubble Ms. Adams sought a variance from the code requirements to prevent this situation in the future.  On May  9 "Sheila Adams noted that a modification was received from the State for the approval to remove the interior support structure from the bubble. By allowing this modification the bubble will have to have a redundant backup blower to back up the main blower and must keep the bubble at least 7 feet off the pool surface for 20 minutes per the building code. A generator would be required for the pool blower only".

Friends of Cheshire Pool supports a VIABLE year-round solution. We eagerly look to examine the other options being pondered. Again we reiterate that the common consensus in our town is that the pool is a good thing. The Evaluation Committee must put forth a viable option for Cheshire's Community Pool.