SPRINGFIELD, NJ - For the first time in 55 years, Springfield residents have a new Community Pool Facility. And Mother Nature gave the Township a spectacular day for the event. The pool was open to all residents for the first time this season. A sunny, 90 degree day, allowed quite a few of our young folks to take full advantage of the inviting water.
The event opened at 4 p.m., where residents had an opportunity to tour the new facility. Many town and county luminaries were present, as were all the various people involved in planning and construction of the new facility. The building, which is more than double the square footage of its predecessor also has more amenities. Besides large locker rooms and showers, there is a fitness room (a gym with brand new work-out equipment) with large windows overlooking the pool. The concession area has also been expanded, now with a large kitchen and seating both under cover and lots more tables out on the patio. A few offices were added, including a medic room for emergencies. But the piece de resistance is the large All Purpose Room.
This All Purpose Room can be rented by residents for parties or events. Need a place for a pool party? Now there is one in town. The rental fee is $250 for a four hour period with additional fees for non-resident participants. But the best part is that although the pool is only open for about four months during the year, this room will be available all year long. In his opening remarks, Adam Lieb, the town’s Director of Recreation, spoke about how the town now has an additional facility for events that cater to children, parents and seniors. The pool is a self-sustaining entity in town. That means the income generated pays for it. So, this room will allow for greater opportunity for revenue, which in turn will pay for future projects like a children’s spray park, or other additions.
A DJ entertained the guests, and Delano Food Concession offered up an endless supply of free hot dogs, chips and ice cold waters. There was also a slide show running in the lobby, showing the process of construction; from initial framing to completion.
During the Opening Ceremony, which began at 5 p.m, Adam Lieb welcomed everyone to the event. He thanked all those involved including his Assistant Director Mike Butrico and his Program Coordinator Amefika Gray. He also thanked Chris Figlio, Pool Manager; Brendan O’Reilly, Assistant Manager; Lee Roth, Jr. Assistant Manager; and Dawn Wilkenfeld ,Activities Manager. Adam didn’t forget about the Recreation Assistants, Bus Drivers and Pool Management – all of who had a hand in making the opening a reality.
Then Sam Mardini, the Township's Assistant Engineer, thanked everyone who helped along the way, starting with the Township Committee for approving the project and allocating the funds. This project began back in 2015 and it was always thought it would take two seasons to complete. A project like this generally takes over a year; whereas the bidding process alone takes three to four months. But in the end, everyone pushed to get it done, and it was completed in about eight months, from just after Labor Day to Memorial Day. A particular point of pride was that there was not a single day of disruption of service to Springfield residents.
Special thanks went out to the Cornerstone Architectural Group, Bob Barranger and Donna Miller, who designed the building; Mike Disko, a long time Springfield resident and the Project Engineer, as well as the Contractor, whose workers toiled many days until midnight to be able to open by Memorial Day weekend.
Police Chief (and acting Business Administrator) John Cook also made a few brief remarks, including introducing the entire Township Committee who were all present for the event. Those were followed by remarks from Mayor Richard Huber who started off by thanking Ziad Shehady, the former Business Administrator that worked diligently on this project until he resigned.
Finally, everyone involved stood together as Mayor Huber ceremoniously cut the ribbon to officially open the pool and the town’s new facility.