NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - With the pool at the New Rochelle YMCA finally filled following more than a year’s worth of renovations, officials with the organization are putting together the final touches before its grand reopening.
Earlier this month, volunteers with the New Rochelle Fire Department took their trucks to the YMCA, where they filled the pool with thousands of gallons of water after a routine inspection forced officials to shutter their doors when damage was found in the roof of the facility.
With renovations complete and water back in the pool, officials are now in the final stages of the process, with “only a few things left to do.”
In the next few weeks, the YMCA’s Aquatic Director will be busy balancing the pool’s water, adjusting the pH and chlorine to make it safe to swim in. The Department of Health will then inspect the facility to ensure that water and lighting conditions are safe. Lastly, they will continue heating the pool - which has risen roughly 20 degrees in the past few days - until it reaches the required 82 degrees.
In June last year, contractors discovered that there was severe damage to the overhead drop ceiling above the pool, complete with eroded support beams, forcing officials to shut down the aquatic center - one of the main sources of revenue for the YMCA.
Since work began, the roof has been completely replaced, complete with new HVAC units. The interior of the center has been overhauled, complete with new paint along the walls and in the hallway and new pool lights. In addition to the interior and roof work, contractors also did some exterior work, replacing five windows.
Originally scheduled to be open late last year, the opening date has been repeatedly pushed back as officials dealt with “a few things that happened that were out of our control.” The opening date will now be determined once the Department of Health completes their inspection in the coming weeks.
“Our pool has been out of commission for over a year. That means, behind the scenes, our pump room was also out of commission,” officials said in a joint statement. “Imagine parking a car in the cold and not turning it on for an extended period of time. We knew that issues may arise, but we had no way of determining what those issues would be until we started everything up again.”
Due to its status as an independent YMCA, it does not receive financial support from the larger, national organization, meaning every dollar needed to be raised locally. YMCA officials quickly went to work, kicking off the $1.3 million “Be a Lifesaver Campaign” that saw Assembly members Amy Paulin and Steve Otis raising $1 million in grants to secure the bank loan to begin work.
“This fundraiser was the most critical in the Y’s 30-year-history,” New Rochelle YMCA Julie Gallanty said about ‘Be a Lifesaver.’ “Unfortunately, the reality is, if we didn’t raise these funds, our pool would have to close for good, and since it is a major source of funding for us, we would have to close our doors to the community entirely.”
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