The Budlong pool.....Let me start with a story. When I was a boy my parents would take us to the beach. We would all pile in my dad's 1967 station wagon. My cousins would sit in the seat in the "way …
The Budlong pool.....Let me start with a story. When I was a boy my parents would take us to the beach. We would all pile in my dad's 1967 station wagon. My cousins would sit in the seat in the "way back" that would face backwards. I would sit with grandma in the middle seat and my baby brother would sit on mom's lap in the front with dad.
We’d roll down the windows because there was no AC — or seat belts for that matter! Eight out of ten times the car would overheat halfway there.
We would all get out and wait for it to cool down before we went on our way… Boy they were fun times! We should still do that!
That's what I hear when people come up and talk about the Budlong pool. I hear about backflips into the water and diving off the high board. Let's face it, the days of a pool that size are over.
It was built with 1930's technology. The walls are made of cobblestone and chlorinated water has been eating away at the cement for years. It was never designed to have a liner and liners are not only a band aid but also have a relatively short life in a commercial setting. The pumps, filters and pipes are undersized according to today's standards. Not to mention the amount of chemicals and staff required to keep a pool of that size going.
As far as the size of the pool is concerned, we are fortunate enough to learn from other municipalities on what size works in certain areas. I myself have made calls to other cities in RI and MA and asked about their pools, the capacity and how it worked. They all had pools similar to the one being proposed and had no problem with capacity.
We are at a unique point in time where we can draw on the experience of others. We have the money and property to build a state of the art facility. All we would be saving would be a giant hole in the ground if we fixed the present pool.
It's time we as a city move forward and build a modern complex that would serve everyone, young, old or handicapped.