State officials are about to put a serious obstacle in the path of skateboarders lured each off-season to the empty 12-foot deep end at the Francis J. McCrehan Memorial Swimming Pool in Cambridge.
The state Department of Conservation and Recreation is preparing to fill in the deep end at the pool on Rindge Avenue, reducing its depth to six feet, before the pool reopens next year.
DCR officials are hoping the move will help deter frequent use by skateboarders, who scale a fence at the pool in the off season when the water has been drained so they can ride the deep-end, said S.J. Port, a spokeswoman for the agency.
Skateboarders have damaged the pool and Port said the state also has safety concerns about kids in the emptied pool.
At a Cambridge City Council meeting Monday, Councilor Craig Kelley said his understanding was that the pool was being filled in due to a drowning death in a different DCR pool earlier this summer.
But Port said that is not the case. She said the $250,000 project has been on the a capital project lists since 2006, but had been on hold because it was awaiting funding.
Deep ends at the McCrehan Pool and Reilly Memorial Swimming Pool in Brighton's Cleveland Circle are each 12-feet deep and are the only DCR pools inside the Route 128 Corridor that reach depths beyond 10 feet deep, said Port. The depth of the Reilly Memorial Swimming Pool will also be reduced before it reopens next season, Port said.
Kelley lamented filling in the deep end at McCrehan Pool because he said it’s one of few places where kids can swim deep and jump in off the side of the pool.
“It would really be something these kids, mostly kids, would miss,” he said. “You don’t get to jump and splash like this any place else.”
Port said the deep end of the pool will still be 6 feet.
“It’s still, for most of us, deep enough to do our laps,” Port said.