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Pool to dock at Hunts Point

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Splash! The Floating Pool Lady will reopen on Saturday, June 27, docked at Barretto Point Park in Hunts Point. Last summer, more than 35,000 people used the seven-lane pool.

“The pool is great,” said Earl Skinner, youth program coordinator at The Point EDC. “We’re ecstatic to have it back.”

Skinner operates a summer camp. There is no permanent public pool in Hunts Point. The floating pool will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m. Registration for 9 a.m. swimming lessons will begin on July 6 at the pool.

The three-year old floating pool spent the summer of 2007 in Brooklyn. It will remain at Barretto Point Park at least until 2010. The pool was a summer camp highlight in 2008, Skinner said. The Parks Department offers free lunch at the pool to children who qualify.

“We are a five-minute van ride away,” Skinner said. “After we are done in the pool, we play in the park.”

During the off-season, the floating pool is moored in New Jersey. It recently cruised to Barretto Point Park via tugboat. Set into the hull of a barge, it is half the size of an Olympic pool and designed to accommodate 174 people. There wasn’t a single injury at the pool during the summer of 2008. In fact, the Parks Department gave its floating pool team a “Best of Parks” award.

In 2008, the MTA ran a shuttle between the Prospect and Intervale 2/5 train stations, the Longwood and Hunts Point 6 train stations and the floating pool. The shuttle won’t stop at Prospect or Intervale in 2009.

“We’re not stopping at the 2/5 train,” transit spokeswoman Deidre Parker said.

In order to maintain a half hour round trip schedule, the shuttle will only stop at Longwood and Hunts Point. In 2008, youth leaders at The Point EDC lobbied the MTA to extend the Bx6 bus route west to Barretto Point Park. Some Hunts Point residents walk to Barretto Point Park, a five-acre facility completed in 2006. But the surrounding neighborhood is industrial and unsafe, youth leader Tatianna Echevarria, 17, said. Semi-trucks rumble nearby.

Barretto Point Park and the floating pool are located at Tiffany Street and Viele Avenue. The pool will stay open until September 7.

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group