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Charlestown’s Clougherty Pool closed for summer due to ‘serious safety concerns’

"We are unwilling to jeopardize the safety of the pool's patrons and the staff."

For over 70 years, Charlestown residents flocked to Clougherty Pool. Jessica Rinaldi/Boston Globe Staff

A popular outdoor public pool, one of only two in Boston, will not open this summer due to safety concerns. Residents who rely on Clougherty Pool voiced their displeasure Tuesday. 

The pool’s closure was announced by Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF).

“The condition of the Clougherty Pool facility has raised serious safety concerns, and we are unwilling to jeopardize the safety of the pool’s patrons and the staff,” a statement from the city said. 

Specifically, those safety concerns center on structural issues, such as exposed live wire underneath the pool and filtration tanks that have the potential to burst, according to NBC 10. An audit earlier this year also found that Clougherty, which is over 70 years old, has deteriorating support columns. 

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City officials are urging residents to instead use the nearby Charlestown Community Center pool, which will be open all summer. They are also suggesting that people beat the heat at Mirabella Pool on Commercial Street in the North End, the other outdoor public pool operated by Boston. 

BCYF will additionally “redeploy” lifeguards throughout its network of pools, in order to open three other facilities. 

Charlestown residents gathered outside Clougherty this week to demand answers and urge the city to open the pool. They said the city did not tell them why the pool was being closed. 

“It makes summer tough. A lot of people, believe it or not, this is their summer place. This is where they come. They go to camp during the day, and they are up here from pretty much 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. They have food trucks here, they have the ice cream truck here. This is their summer, and you are going to take their summer away and say they have to be bussed over to either Somerville or the North End,” Charlestown resident Mary Gillen told WCVB.

Residents at the rally added that the site is being considered by Boston officials for a new community center, but they have not received more information from the city. 

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“We did not make this decision lightly,” BCYF Commissioner Marta Rivera told NBC 10. “This pool is a well-loved community resource that will be missed this summer but ultimately the safety of our patrons and our staff is the priority and we cannot guarantee that the BCYF Clougherty Pool is safe to open.”

Residents created an online petition calling on the city to allocate funds for the immediate repair of the pool. They demanded that the repairs begin after the season, and that BCYF officials organize a meeting with residents to address their immediate concerns. 

At the time of publication, the petition had 1,164 signatures.

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