The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 8, 2005


Swim and health facility taking shape on CCHS campus
The Concord-Carlisle Swim and Health Center, being constructed by C.C. Pools, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, on the Concord-Carlisle High School campus is expected to open at the end of this year, according to executive director Tim Atkins. Donors are still needed to fill the $2.5 million gap, and there are still a number of specific items individuals and businesses can put their names on if they are willing to donate the funds. Top supporters have created a $500,000 challenge grant to spur donations. (See C.C. Pools press release below.)

Concord Rec to run facility

Once the building is completed, it will be given to the Town of Concord and the facility will be run by the Concord Recreation Department (Concord Rec). The Concord Rec offices will move to the new center, freeing up space at the Hunt Gym for their popular after-school program.

The Concord Town Warrant includes an Article requesting $515,000 for items that were never part of the original C.C. Pools charter. These items include: fitness equipment, computers, software and furnishings for the office area, a building public address (PA) system and a building alarm system. A parking gate and an electronic system to run it are also needed. Since the pool is right across the driveway from the main entrance of the high school and students are known to park daily in unauthorized spots close to the door rather than in the designated parking areas, it is a good bet that they will try to use the pool parking area. Hence, there is a need for an electronic gate at the pool facility.

The Town of Carlisle has not been asked to support the project or help raise money for start-up costs at the new facility, even though Carlisle residents will enjoy the reduced membership rates like the folks in Concord.

Four pools

The diving pools begin to take shape at the CC Swim and Health Center. (Photo by Rik Pierce)

The new facility will serve a wide range of needs and ages in both communities. The 32,000+ square-foot facility will have four pools, two fitness rooms, spectator seating for 175 people and a small cafe.

Karen Houghton, the aquatics director at Concord Rec, had much to say about the pools and the programs. The 25-yard by 25-meter eight-lane recreation and competition lap pool will be used for Red Cross swimming lessons, swim teams of all ages and lots of other fun activities. Certification for Water Safety Instruction, Life Guard training and scuba diving will also be offered. Teen movie nights, where kids can hang out on tubes and watch a movie on a big screen, are being considered.

A 14-foot-deep diving pool can be used for diving teams, diving lessons and recreation. This pool will have two diving boards that are one meter above the water. A third diving board, three meters above the water, will be added if a donor steps forward.

A warm-water therapy pool with jets, set for about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, will be used for water aerobics, physical therapy and relaxation. This pool should be wonderful for stretching and toning for seniors and others. Mom and tot programs can also be accommodated.

The fourth pool is shallow and will have a play structure in the center for children's use. All the pools will be handicapped accessible. There will be separate locker rooms for recreational and competitive users. Also, there will be four family changing rooms.

Fitness rooms

In addition to the pools, there will be two fitness rooms, each 1,600 square feet. One will be targeted for cardiovascular and abdominal work-outs. The other will have free weights and single benches for strengthening and toning muscles. Jan MacCulloch, the Fitness Director at Concord Rec, said this new space is greatly needed as the Exerfit program at the Hunt Gym is well attended and crowded. The new space will be able to accommodate more participants. There will be trainers present to help and inform members.

Concord resident Dr. Miriam Nelson, an international author and director of the John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Tufts University, will advise the new center on how to implement her strength training exercise programs.

More than just a pool

From the beginning, it has been the charter of C.C. Pools, Inc. to build a swim facility for Concord and Carlisle with privately raised funds. A bequest of $5,000,000 from the Alfred Sawyer Trust will partially finance the center. C.C. Pools has worked closely with Concord Rec to come up with a design that would permit the kinds of programs that would make the facility self-sustainable. After considerable research, it was clear that the facility would have to be more than a building with just a pool. Most natatoria do not raise enough in fees to cover their costs. Other swim facilities' directors all said they needed more in terms of pools, space and lockers. C.C. Pools, Inc. took a long-range view, building a facility that would appeal to a wide range of individuals and would meet the needs of these two communities. In doing so, the project grew in scope and cost to $9.5 million, which is why more funds are needed.

Memberships available

A few memberships have already been sold. Charter memberships, those bought before January 2006, are being sold at a discount. Membership costs for individuals and families are $600 and $1,200 respectively, with a joining fee of $99. After January 2006, memberships will increase to $700 for individuals and $1400 for families, with an increased joining fee of $199. A family membership covers all people of an immediate family, regardless of the number of family members. There will be special rates for seniors and students.

Would you like to see your name on a plaque in the lobby of the new facility? There are four categories of "Medalist Donors." Platinum Medalist Donors give $100,000+, Gold Medalist Donors give $50,000+, Silver Medalist Donors give $25,000+ and Bronze Medalist Donors give $10,000+. A list of naming opportunities and much other relevant data can be found at

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito