Residents of Waltham will now have one more pool to swim in this summer.
Waltham and state officials celebrated the opening of the Connors Memorial Swimming Pool last week, marking the completion of the long-awaited $5.3 million rehabilitation project.
The new pool, which is under the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, is a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient facility providing the latest in modern design, universal access and public safety standards, according to a prepared statement from DCR.
The opening of the Connors pool, which originally closed in 2001, is part of a $37 million initiative to upgrade state pool facilities across the commonwealth, replacing aging swimming pools with new facilities featuring enhanced standards for safety.
The renovation project included demolition of the existing buildings, construction of a new bathhouse and an operations/management building, which now provides shower and toilet facilities, changing spaces, pool offices, a first aid room, and storage space.
The pool itself is multi-functional, offering several racing lanes, a kiddy-pool area, and spray park features.
There is also a zero-depth, or “beach” entry, as well as a lateral transfer entry and an ADA accessibility chair lift.
The pool area also offers viewing areas of the river in a quieter mini-park area adjacent to pool deck.
The facility also features a zero-net-energy pool, bathhouse and equipment building – the first of its kind in Massachusetts, according to the prepared statement.
The energy efficient building use solar energy for electricity, hot water, and some building heat, and the pool features an infrared filter system that uses less chlorine by removing other contaminants.
“We are committed to investing in projects that will benefit Massachusetts for generations to come, and the Connors pool is just that,” Gov. Deval Patrick said in a press release. “I thank the municipal officials, state legislators and members of the community who advocated so hard for the reconstruction of this project.”
Work also included renovations to the existing adjacent skating rink, with the installation of fencing and basketball nets for the use during the warmer seasons. A pathway next to to the rink was also re-established with steps and boulders for residents to view the river.
State Representative Thomas Stanley, a Waltham Democrat, said after years of lobbying on behalf of Connors Pool, he is thrilled that the pool is opening, citing it as an important community resource directly benefiting the health and recreation interests of area residents.
"The new pool and bathhouse facility are safe and accessible for both children and adults, and given the warm temperatures we've seen this summer, will be a great asset to the City of Waltham," Stanley said in a statement.
The pool is named for Louis Benedict Connors, a resident of Waltham who served as city council president, state representative and state senator.
The original Connors complex was constructed in 1954 before closing in 2001.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org