BROOKFIELD, Conn. — The Regional YMCA in Brookfield just finalized a $2.6 million project that will enable its outdoor pool to be used on a year-round basis.
As part of the project, which is dubbed Building a Stronger Community, "We are putting a 'bubble' over the pool," said Marie Miszewski, president and CEO of the YMCA. "It is an air-supported structure, resembling a big balloon."
The bubble, which is removable, will be atop the pool from October through May.
The outdoor pool is used by the summer camp. Built in 2007, it is 50 meters long and 4 feet to 6.5 feet deep.
According to Miszewski, the first step "is knocking down the existing pool house locker room building so we can attach the bubble structure." That will take place in October to early November.
A new Youth Development and Aquatic Center will be built in place of the current pool house -- with locker rooms, bathrooms and a lobby.
In addition, a new driveway will be constructed with a turnaround for drop-offs and pickups by parents.
More pool time and lap lanes will be available at both the Greenknoll Branch and the new Youth Development and Aquatic Center.
In Phase 2 of the project, four classrooms will be added. That will be a permanent home on the Brookfield campus for the YMCA Greenknoll Children's Center, as well as add an exercise area and offices.
This work is scheduled for completion in spring of 2017. In October 2017, the seasonal 15,500-square-foot bubble will be erected.
The plan to make the pool usable year-round was a long time in coming. "The original plan when the pool first opened was for it to be a year-round building, but it's a tough climate for fundraising," Miszewski said .
"When the bubble is put on, our swim team -- the Regional YMCA Mako Swim Team -- will be able to use the pool year-round," she said. "There are 225 kids on the team, ranging in age from 5 through high school."
Currently, the team uses the pool until Columbus Day each year.
The covered pool, which can fit several hundred children, will be heated to 76 degrees.
She said while private donors have made the project possible, "The Y is still in the fundraising phase."
"This is a big step for our organization," Miszewski said.
The Regional Y serves Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, New Fairfield, Newtown and Sherman. It has about 9,000 members.
The main branch of the Brookfield Y, which is at 2 Huckleberry Hill Road, currently has two indoor pools.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the project is scheduled for Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. at the YMCA, 10 Huckleberry Hill Road, Brookfield.
Those who are interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the fundraising campaign can contact the Brookfield YMCA at 203-775-4444.
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