SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The official opening of the South Plainfield Community Pool is just days away and, over the past month, work has been done to make the area in and around the summer retreat safer and more aesthetically pleasing.

At a meeting May 15, Councilwoman Christine Faustini, liaison to the borough’s recreation commission, announced that the upgrades and improvements should be near completion in time for the pool’s June 3 opening.

“The Community Pool has been a town staple for many years. It has been the gathering place for many families throughout the years providing swim lessons, a social spot, sports, and relief from the heat.  After dealing with some structural problems over the last several years, the council has focused on amenities such as the new slide as well as the shade structures and aesthetic updates currently underway,” said Faustini, who has worked alongside the borough’s Department of Public Works (DPW) Supervisor Len Miller and Recreation Director Kevin Hughes on the project.  

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In April, DPW began removing overgrown greenery and poison ivy along the Maple Avenue side of the pool. As trees were removed it became apparent that the fence was in extreme disrepair. Earlier this week, a new 7-foot chain link vinyl fence with privacy slats was erected and new trees are set to be planted on the pool side. In addition, a privacy screen will be installed along Cady Lane.   

At the May 15 meeting, the borough council also approved a capital ordinance authorizing the acquisition of two permanent 14’ by 22’ shade structures that will be installed at the pool; the exact location/placement will be determined by Hughes and returning pool manager Alicia Berardacco in the coming weeks.

“As a long time pool member, I have heard many parents express frustration at not being able to keep young ones out of the direct sun when needed. It is not possible to use umbrellas like at the beach,” said Faustini. “The shade structures will provide cooling and hopefully allow our members to extend their time at the pool.”

According to the councilwoman, the pool improvements were a ‘collaborative effort between multiple departments and council committee.’

“I am very impressed with the hard work and speed from our DPW getting the grounds ready for improvement…and I am grateful how helpful everyone has been in getting things done. Much thanks to Department Head Alice Tempel and Councilman Jon Dean in helping with the tree selection and placement decisions,” said Faustini, adding that pool membership is up for 2017, with an additional 20 families, 15 seniors and a handful of individuals signed up as of press time.

“I would also like to thank the recreation commission and my fellow council members for their support and for continuing to invest in our community pool,” she said.

In addition to improvements at the pool, Faustini has been working with the recreation department and the South Plainfield Public Library Board to expand and update Willow Park, which is located directly behind the library and borough hall. Earlier this month, the library board voted to put in some new playground equipment and, as a result, will be putting in a few swings, including a tire swing.

“The library board is funding the project, and the expansion has the support of the recreation commission as well,” said Faustini. “I believe that with the expansion this will become an even better gathering location for both community events and library users.”

TAPinto South Plainfield will publish additional information on the upgrades to Willow Park as the project moves forward.

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