The beleaguered BCYF Clougherty Pool on Bunker Hill Street just got a boost in the state budget this week as Rep. Dan Ryan was able to secure $2 million in the House’s Economic Development bill to begin addressing the pool’s maintenance issues.
While Rep. Ryan said the $2 million will not be enough for a complete overhaul of the pool; it can begin addressing some of the pool’s issues to have it up and running by next summer.
‘The $2 Million secured through the Economic Development package demonstrates my commitment to saving this community treasure,” said Ryan. “Senator DiDomenico and I will continue to work with Mayor Wu’s office, Councilor Coletta and our at Large Councilors to identify what is needed and to find the resources to get this pool open for 2023 and beyond.’
Ever since the city decided last month to close the BCYF Clougherty Pool on Bunker Hill Street for the summer due to maintenance issues Charlestown residents have not been happy.
The last minute closure right before the summer was about to go into full swing left many frustrated that the city did not address the pool’s maintenance issues earlier.
In response, the Friends of the Clougherty Pool hosted a community meeting last Wednesday.
The well attended meeting was attended by Ryan, District 1 City Councilor Gabriela Coletta, City at Large Councilors Ruthzee Louijeune, Julia Mejia, Erin Murphy, staff from Senator Sal DiDomenico’s office and BCYF Commissioner Marta Rivera.
“Commissioner Rivera provided an overview of the most recent engineer’s report on the pool, which concluded the repairs needed to safely open may not be possible within the 2022 summer season,” said Friends of the Clougherty Pool in a statement after the meeting. “Residents pressed for an explanation on why BCYF allowed the pool to fall into disrepair in the first place, and demanded the Commissioner go on the record with her intent to reopen the pool in 2023. Commissioner Rivera did not make a commitment to reopen the Clougherty, rather she said that BCYF was committed to understanding what was wrong with the pool and understanding its options, including commissioning another structural engineer’s report. Commissioner Rivera also provided information on pool upkeep, acknowledging the last time the pool was overhauled was 1988 and that the 20-year filtration system installed that same year had long-since expired.”
“The city dropped the ball. Repairs were supposed to be done. They haven’t been done. We want answers, we want accountability,” said Naomi Hastings.
Hastings also pressed public officials for accommodations like shuttles and specific hours when Charlestown residents could use the Mirabella pool in the North End. While officials at the meeting initially suggested this would be possible, Naomi has received no further response from the officials.
Others, including Moe Gillen, spoke about generations of residents using the pool, as one resident stated, “We are not a rich community, we depend on this pool in the summer.” Residents stated Charlestown is home to the largest public housing development in New England and that the city’s decisions have created greater inequities and limited access to critical outdoor space.