Friday, October 28, 2005
C.C. Pools plans to open new facility in February
The Concord Carlisle Community Swim and Fitness Center is well on its way to becoming the premier hangout in town. The Concord Recreation Department is working very hard to have a variety of programs ready to roll upon its opening, currently scheduled for February. The center has four pools, a 25-yard by 25-meter lap pool, a 14-foot deep diving pool, a warm water therapy pool complete with a bench seat and jets and a toddlers pool with water spouts and fountains. Besides the pools, there are two fitness rooms, locker rooms, spectator seating, state-of-the-art dehumidifying and air filtering systems, lots of natural light and a pleasant café overlooking the pools below. Money is still needed to finance the building. Charter memberships, which are discounted, will be available until December 31.
The building is inviting. The immense space where the four pools reside is impressive (see photos on page 6.) Tim Atkins, Executive Director of C. C. Pools and the one who has spearheaded this project, said much research went into the layout and what was needed to make a sustainable recreational place for the whole family. Early on in the planning, C.C.Pools visited many swimming facilities in the region to learn from their designs. The architect, Michael Rosenfeld of West Acton, planned the building to fit into its environment, matching the level of the door and its bricks with that of the high school, across the driveway. A gated parking lot will accommodate 140 cars and will keep high school students from parking there during school. Swim and Fitness Center members will use key cards to access the parking lot. There will be a landscaped walkway along the front of the building and a drop-off area by the front door.
To either side of café are two large fitness rooms. One is targeted for strength and this room will have new exercise machines dedicated to specific areas of the body and has free weights. The second fitness room is for cardiovascular training. That room will be filled with new treadmills, elliptical trainers, cycles, stair steppers and a few rowing machines, and there will be 15-inch TV monitors on each piece of equipment. Trainers will be in the rooms at all times. There will be a variety of personal trainers who can help with sport-specific training on these machines. Members get a one-hour free training session. Personal trainers can also be hired for a fee.
On the lower level are the pools, the locker rooms, offices and storage. Here again, much planning went into the design of this area. Natural light filters down to these rooms from the top floor. Not only are there sizable locker rooms for each gender, there are team locker rooms. These areas allow teams to stick together and not disturb others that may be overwhelmed by their number and enthusiasm. There are four family locker rooms which allow some flexibility for both young and old. Showers are as close to the pool as possible, so after people rinse off, which they are supposed to do before entering a pool, it's quick to get into the water. Also on the lower level is a first aid room.
The systems for the air handling, water filtering and heat are also on the lower level. The dehumidifying system is quite large and it pulls out 185 gallons of moisture an hour. The back wall has a series of baffles built into it to lower the noise level in the natatorium. The acoustic ceiling helps with this problem as well. There is ambulance access at the pool level through a door on the lower level. That door will only be used for emergencies. The facility also has an elevator.
Plenty of attention has been given to the small details in the design of the four pools. The lap pool is surrounded by a gutter system which absorbs the wave action. This is particularly important for competitive meets. A portable set of stairs can be put into the lap pool for easier access. The stairs can be removed during competitive meets. The conduits and connections for the scoreboard and for touch pads in the lanes of the lap pool are present, but the equipment is not, because the equipment costs $70,000 and is not in the budget of this project. Atkins hopes that the competitive swim teams will help finance that equipment. Infrastructure is in place so a chair for the handicapped can be raised and lowered into three of the pools.
Classes. teams and special events
The facility will be open 102 hours a week, 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Saturday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. will be used for special events. Childcare will be available by reservation.
According to Jan MacCulloch, the Fitness Director of Concord Recreation, the opportunities to use this facility abound. There will be a swim classes, classes for mothers and toddlers, scuba diving classes and Water Safety Instruction Certification. There will be many levels of swim and dive teams such as high school teams, US Dive and US Swim Teams, Masters Swim Teams (ages 19+), a recreational level and a more competitive level for kids, similar to the in-town soccer and travel-soccer programs. Water fitness classes and rehabilitation classes can take place in several of the pools.
Since the fitness training rooms are considerably larger than those at the Hunt Gym, MacCulloch said that there will be more trainers, more classes, and body assessment can be done. Members of the pool will get a 40% discount on fitness programs, including the programs in Pilates, T'ai-chi and yoga held at 105 Everett Street.
Fees to cover operations, not construction
Depending on the type of membership, fees range from $600 to $1400. Discounted "Charter" memberships can be obtained before December 31. There will be different rates for individual and family memberships, for couples, seniors and students. People can sign up for swim, fitness or combined memberships. For more information, see a "Membership Fee Schedule" at www.concordnet.org under "Recreation." When asked if there will be way for Concord and Carlisle residents to use the facility on a drop-in basis, Danner DeStephano, Director of Concord Recreation did not answer directly, but said, "There will be an ability for folks to try it out."
$1 million Challenge grant
Two and a half million dollars is still needed to finish the $9.5 million project, because the intention is that membership fees will be used only for the operational budget of the Swim and Fitness Center, and not used for the cost of building the center. Right now, there is a $1 million challenge grant offered by an anonymous donor. Two hundred thousand dollars of that $1 million has already been raised. CC Pools is looking to the residents of Carlisle and Concord to bridge the gap.Tim Atkins of C.C. Pools Inc. will give tours upon request. See www.ccpools.org for more information.
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