BCYF Clougherty Pool Project Feedback Wanted

By Michael Coughlin Jr.

The Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF), the Public Facilities Department (PFD), and Fennick McCredie Architecture held a meeting at the Charlestown High School Cafeteria on Monday, Feb. 13, looking for feedback regarding proposals for the BCYF Clougherty Pool project.

During this meeting, designs for the new pool itself, the pool deck, and the bathhouse were revealed to give residents in attendance the opportunity to provide feedback on what they would like to see regarding a new and improved neighborhood pool.

The currently closed pool area has about 7,600 square feet of pool space, and according to Mark Mariano from Weston & Sampson, the current pool configuration limits its inclusivity and ability to hold different programs.

“What we’re trying to do is vision this pool to not only give the city another 50 years of service life but to meet the community’s needs for that time … We would like to incorporate many features that would serve the community for a long period of time,” said Mariano.

These features include learn-to-swim programs, lap swimming, inclusive accessibility to the pool, play areas, shade areas, and more, all to make the new pool a place everyone can enjoy.

“We’d like to incorporate our features to these pools that will help all age groups and all abilities to be able to commingle in the pool,” said Mariano.

In terms of pool designs, residents were given three options to peruse and provide feedback on. There was one option that only housed one pool at the site and two options that contained two pools.

“Any pool that you see up here will incorporate all the same features. There’s nothing that we’re going to miss out,” said Mariano to meeting attendees.

“The only difference between a single-pool and a two-pool system is kind of just how we configure that to the site.” Mariano also mentioned that an obvious benefit of the two-pool system is that if one has to shut down for a period, the other one can still run.

In the designs, pools would range from 7,200 to 7,960 square feet; all depths would be from zero – a beach entry – to around eight feet, and all will have swim lanes, ramps, and spray features. Some key differences in each design include the number of swim lanes and how much surface area is left for design on the deck.

As for pool deck design aspects, Weston & Sampson’s Johnathan Law spoke about different plans for seating, shading, the deck itself, the color of these features, and more. Law also mentioned that the project would maintain the already present bleachers at the pool.

Law presented two options for deck layouts incorporating different features, such as artistic shading structures, different seating, and more.

Finally, renovation plans for the bathhouse were also introduced. Notably, the bathhouse is being preserved and not demolished, so it is essentially a refurbishment. The windows and doorways to the pool deck are also being maintained.

“The bathhouse is going to be very different than the current one, although we’re using the same building,” said Deborah Fennick, Principal of Fennick McCredie Architecture.

In addition to a new elevator being installed which will also have access to the roof deck, there are new plans for each level of the bathhouse.

Level one will hold amenities such as bathrooms, locker rooms, lockers, and more. “We’re making the locker spaces as compact as possible while providing the code-required number of showers and toilets, which are based on the size of the pool,” said Fennick.

The idea behind compacting locker space was to fit as many of those amenities mentioned on the first level for ease of access and to open up space elsewhere in the bathhouse.

That extra open space will allow for a community room to be built on level two, which could be used for things like birthday parties, functions, and meetings. Other level two amenities could include lifeguard offices and even a concessions area.

As for the roof terrace,  it has not been fully designed yet, but it will preserve the current canopy up there.

Regarding feedback among residents at the meeting, it was scattered and touched upon many things, such as moving the lifeguard offices in the bathhouse, wanting to use personal chairs for seating, making the area inclusive for those with disabilities, and much more.

The PowerPoint from Monday’s meeting, which gives visuals for all these plans, can be found at https://www.boston.gov/departments/boston-centers-youth-families/bcyf-clougherty-pool. A survey will also be posted so residents can make their voices heard regarding what they want at the new pool.

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