Docking at Barretto Point, a five acre waterfront park in the Hunts Point, the pool will bring much needed swimming facilities to the east Bronx and complement the waterfront that has been rehabbed and turned into park land since the beginning of the decade.
“We’re on the home stretch,” said Commissioner Adrian Benepe, of the status of making the pool a reality.
Benepe assured that the needed DEC permit would be secured soon and a specific launch site could be established. The pool will be accessed through the park.
“There’s fairly limited infrastructure to build,” the commissioner said, “we just need to build a platform for the gang plank.”
Coming from a Brooklyn Heights location last summer, the pool will likely stay in the Bronx for three years to fill the need for aquatic facilities, which are lacking in the area.
“The Neptune Foundation was created to bring this pool to communities that were underserved with recreation facilities,” said Ann Buttenweiser, who runs the foundation and has spearheaded the push for the floating pools. “It’s the perfect site for it, a neighborhood where children are desperately in need for recreation; to move their bodies; to learn how to swim.”
New York City once had 15 floating pools, which were stored during the off months at Clason Point, near where the boat will dock.
In 1915, the Health Department found sewage in one of the pools and closed them all down. The new modern pool, launched in 2001, was made from the retrofit of an old pool barge shell to fit a 25-meter, seven-lane pool an 80 x 260-foot barge known as the Floating Pool Lady.
It is now the only facility of its kind in the entire country and Bronx Parks Commissioner Hector Aponte is thrilled that it will benefit borough residents.
“We look forward to welcoming the floating pool to its new home this summer in Barretto Point Park,” Aponte said. “As an attractive recreational amenity, this pool will offer Bronx residents and New Yorkers another way to cool off during a hot summer in the city.”
©2008 Community News Group