For Immediate Release - July 26, 2012

GOVERNOR PATRICK CELEBRATES OPENING OF NEW CONNORS MEMORIAL SWIMMING POOL COMPLEX IN WALTHAM

Green design creates first Net-Zero energy pool in DCR portfolio.

Connors Pool
Governor Patrick celebrates the reopening of the Lewis Benedict Connors Memorial Swimming Pool in Waltham. (Photo Credit: Eric Haynes / Governor's Office) View additional photos.

WALTHAM – Thursday, July 26, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today celebrated the reopening of the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Lewis Benedict Connors Memorial Swimming Pool, marking the completion of a long-awaited $5.3 million rehabilitation project. The new pool is a state-of-the-art energy efficient facility providing the latest in modern aquatic design, universal access and public safety standards.

“We are committed to investing in projects that will benefit Massachusetts for generations to come, and the Connors pool is just that,” said Governor Patrick. “I thank the municipal officials, state legislators and members of the community who advocated so hard for the reconstruction of this project.”

The opening of the new pool is part of $37 million initiative by the Patrick-Murray Administration to upgrade state pool facilities across the Commonwealth, replacing aging swimming pools with new facilities that enhanced standards for aquatic safety.

“Utilizing energy efficient methods and contemporary designs, the completion and opening of this facility is just one example of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to providing the best modern recreational resources to Massachusetts residents,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan.

The facility features a zero-net-energy pool, bathhouse and equipment building – the first of its kind in Massachusetts. The energy efficient building utilizes solar photovoltaic energy for electricity and solar thermal energy for hot water and some building heat. The solar thermal units will also provide heat during off-seasons as a so-called “waste product.” With no other heating system required to maintain building temperature, this system will also heat family bathrooms for public use.

“The new Connors Pool will provide residents of Waltham and the surrounding area a complex that is accessible, safe, sustainable, low-maintenance, and fun, allowing it to once again serve a central public recreational need for Waltham and surrounding communities,” said DCR Commissioner Ed Lambert. “DCR staff are thrilled to have this pool back online and to welcome Waltham back to Connors!”

Another component of this new technology is the pool’s filter system, an infrared technology that utilizes less chlorine by removing additional contaminants, providing safer swimming.

"After years of lobbying on behalf of Connors Pool, I am thrilled that this important community resource will be opening, directly benefiting the health and recreation interests of area residents," said Representative Thomas Stanley. "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. Many thanks to everyone who worked tirelessly to complete this most important project."

The renovation project included demolition of the existing buildings, construction of a new bathhouse and an operations/management building. This provides shower and toilet facilities, family changing spaces, offices for the pool manager and lifeguards, 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. For increased accessibility, there is 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, while still in close proximity to pool, in a quieter mini-park area adjacent to pool deck.

Work in the area 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 adjacent to the rink was re-established with steps and “contemplation” boulders for enjoyment of the river view.

Residents of Waltham and the surrounding communities have anxiously awaited this project’s completion. The original complex was constructed in 1954 and named for Louis Benedict Connors, a resident of Waltham who served as city council president, state representative and state senator. It was closed in 2001.

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