The Recorder – Construction of new pools near Buckland

Published: 2/9/2022 6:14:20 PM

Modified: 2/9/2022 6:12:37 PM

BUCKLAND — The town is within reach of a new community pool and pool house, and the architect overseeing the project said his firm must be informed by the end of the week of any desired changes in order to start construction by the June 30 deadline imposed by a six-figure grant subsidizing the project.

Rob Marcalow, of Kuth Ranieri Architects, said the town has received $400,000 through the state’s Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) program and, as a result, is on an extremely tight schedule to break ground. Marcalow was joined by firm principal Byron Kuth and Elizabeth Ranieri to update the Buckland Selectboard during Tuesday’s virtual meeting and answer questions from officials and the public.

The new pool will be built on the site of the previous pool facility at the Buckland Recreation Area on Ashfield Road (Route 112). The former pool was closed in 2016 for safety reasons and subsequently removed. Marcalow said the pool will have a shallow end on its east side and noted the area has excellent sun exposure, “which is definitely a good thing for a pool.”

The pool, he said, will turn 45 degrees into its deeper end, essentially creating spots for wading, standing and swimming. The pool is designed as 2,413 square feet — roughly 90 feet by 60 feet — with depths ranging from 6 inches to 7 feet, 3 inches.

The design of the pool house, Marcalow said, is evolving, but the latest iteration is 800 square feet, with a footprint of about 15 feet by 60 feet, and a 7-foot breezeway. The roof peak will be about 14 feet high.

When asked if the pool would have diving boards, Marcalow said the project’s budget does not allow for excavating the necessary depths. In addition to the PARC grant, Special Town Meeting voters in October approved $1,263,104 for the purpose of planning, designing and constructing the new pool and pool house.

Community member Andrea Donlon mentioned she wishes the new pool would better allow for lap swimming, which could help residents stay in shape.

“It would be good for exercise,” she said.

Cynthia Schwartz, chair of the Buckland Recreation Committee, lauded the architectural firm and the designs.

“We’re all very, very excited that this pool is becoming a reality and it’s actually going to happen,” she said. “It’s been six years in the making.”

The old pool was dedicated in 1963 and there exists a home movie of a large crowd gathered around Olympic gold-medal swimmer and movie star Buster Crabbe, who had become a promoter and spokesperson of the Cascade Pool Co. — the company that built Buckland’s new swimming pool for $30,440. Crabbe visited Buckland on opening day, and the film shows him plunging into the pool. The video can be viewed at bit.ly/3Jhvyvq.

Marcalow, a Gil native and University of Massachusetts Amherst graduate, said he visited the pool as a child.

“This project is near and dear to my heart,” he said at Tuesday’s virtual meeting.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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