There have been many descriptions of the proposed Berkeley Aquatic Club (BAC) pool used in these postings. Comparisons to non-swimming pool facilities can be misleading, so I offer the readers some images of an Olympic-size pool facility that is somewhat bigger than BAC’s proposed facility. Though there is a size difference, I think the pictures provide a better sense of scale than the descriptions made so far.
I distinctly remember that BAC management said, in a presentation to BAC swimmers and parents several years ago, that the prototype they envision for the BAC facility is the Nassau County Aquatic Center in Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, NY, although the BAC facility would be potentially smaller.
The comparable but larger pool facility is then the Nassau County Aquatic Center in Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, NY. Per Nassau County’s website, "The 80,000-square-foot Center includes a “stretch” 50-meter pool that is 68 meters long, with three movable bulkheads. The pool setup varies from day to day, with 50-meter, 25-yard and/or 25-meter lap lanes, depending on the pool setup." Most descriptions of the BAC proposed pool facility have it as a 51,000-square-foot facility.
Using 5th grade math and a couple of simplifying assumptions, here are hypothetical dimensions:
Nassau Aquatic Center: 360 feet long by 222 feet wide
BAC Proposed Facility: 300 feet long by 170 feet wide
Surely the experts at BAC can provide us with correct dimensions of both facilities, to have a true comparison.
The height could be lower but to have adequate ventilation in a chlorine-infused facility, the ceiling must be very high still. To paraphrase a BAC management statement during the presentation several years ago, there will be lots of air in the BAC facility.
Given that comparative but hypothetical structure information, I invite you to view some pictures of the Nassau Aquatic Center that is available in the following internet links:
In the photo page available from the Google Images, make sure to scroll down, as there are many exterior pictures of the facility that give a clear sense of scale of that building. Remember, the BAC facility would be SLIGHTLY less long and SLIGHTLY less wide.
With my child's permission (yes, in my family, we ask each other permission when we are about to intrude in someone else's space), I would like to share with you a happy anecdote. I have seen the Nassau Aquatic Center first hand, on the occasion when my daughter swam next to Lia Neal, a member of the US Olympic team that competed in the London games. My daughter was out touched by a Long Island swimmer for second place but the three swimmers pushed off from the wall at the initial turn in close succession. I am forever grateful to the BAC for making that memory possible.
As impressive as the Nassau Aquatic Center is, I would NOT WANT to see a facility of this size, or even SLIGHTLY smaller, in my proverbial backyard, as I live less than a mile from the proposed site.
The Nassau Aquatic Center is in a location that is much different from the Emerson Lane and Free Acres area of Berkeley Heights.
Consider the location of the Nassau Aquatic Center, as shown by the map of Eisenhower Park in the link below:
Please also see the description of Eisenhower Park in the following link:
As the Nassau County website describes, "A 930-ACRE OASIS OF OPEN SPACE AND RECREATION in the heart of Nassau County, Eisenhower Park is one of the largest public spaces in the New York metropolitan area – larger, in fact, than Central Park."
As noted, the Nassau Aquatic Center is part of a "A 930-acre oasis of open space and recreation". It is NOT in the MIDDLE of a RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD.
The proposed location of the BAC Olympic-size pool facility would be part of a residential neighborhood.
I hope readers will also consider the location of the Olympic-size facility that BAC management chose as their prototype.
Finally, I just want to say that I am able to separate my views on BAC and the BAC Proposed Facility. My children enjoy being swimmers for the team and have learned many important life lessons from being part of the team. However, views that I share with many residents of the town regarding the BAC Proposed Facility are grounded on our concern for the community at large.
I encourage all Berkeley Heights residents to vote NO in the Special Election on Tuesday, May 7th.
Let’s help BAC turn around and work with neighboring towns to find a more suitable and safer location. I believe that’s fair.
I thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you.