Ben Rosenfeld, News Editor
As many have heard, the Town of Greenwich recently approved plans for a new town pool, in Byram Park. According to local news reports, the new pool will be larger, as well as have lifeguard offices, a concession stand, and a new pool building.
Tammy Grimes, the campaign treasurer for the Greenwich Pool in Byram Park Project, a Committee of the Junior League of Greenwich, was optimistic about the progress the pool project is making, and explained the process by which the pool project was approved and carried out. “Like many government projects, the pool project had to be vetted and approved by numerous departments within the Town of Greenwich and most importantly, it needed to be approved by the members of The Representatives Town Meeting (RTM).” For Grimes and other members of the pool project board, the willingness of Greenwich residents to support the project has been the greatest help in making progress on its construction, even though the project itself took a long time to be approved.
Frequently with major town proposals, the execution of the projects can be a long process, requiring months of attention from town hall and careful planning of all the steps necessary to carry out the program. According to Grimes, getting approval from and raising awareness in the community can be the most important part of the job. “At the beginning of the process, there was a lot of research and data gathering that took place. We looked at neighboring pool complexes in the area. We held several ‘pool awareness’ events educating Town Residents of the project. We also attended numerous town meetings voicing our support of the the Pool Project.”
Public support is one of the most important factors in reaching such a goal, especially since a large amount of funding will come from private donations raised by the Junior League of Greenwich. Right now, the committee is working on the marketing materials necessary to start the campaign, and will hopefully begin collecting funds within the next month.
The Byram Pool is just one of the recent town projects and improvements which have been approved by the town in the last few years. However, not all of these projects move as quickly as some would hope. One example of this is Cos Cob Park, which was officially opened to the public in March of last year. The new park, which is right by Cos Cob harbor (near the train station), has a turf sports field, a playground, and a walking path, among other things. A 9/11 memorial was also dedicated in September of 2015. However, the park project had been the works for over ten years, being held back by problems with financing and approval by boards and officials in town hall.
However, when you go to a place like Cos Cob Park, it is easy to see the positive impact it has made on the town community. Every day, soccer and lacrosse teams play on the turf field, people walk and jog on the path by the water, and kids run around on the playground. Town projects like the Byram pool project and Cos Cob Park bring new people into Greenwich as well as improve their neighborhoods and communities.
According to local press reports, the pool project will begin construction within the next few months, and hopefully be completed by 2018.