WESTFIELD, NJ — Since 1969, Westfield residents have had the the first Saturday in June marked on their calendars. Its the opening day for Westfield Memorial Pool and Saturday, with temperatures in the mid-80s and under sunny skies, the water was officially ready.
“Oh yeah,” said Bruce Kaufmann, director of recreation for the town of Westfield, as a smile appeared on his face. “Our summer season is here.”
The pool is open seven days a week through Labor Day (Sept. 5). During the 94 days that the pool will operate this season, the first two weeks — the weeks of June 6 and June 13 — weekday pool hours are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. At all other times the hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Kaufmann projected that there will be in excess of 100,000 member and guests visiting the pool this summer. To have the pool ready for this type of traffic, renovations and improvements to the pool complex have taken place during this off-season and in years past.
In 2009 the main pool, the kiddie pool and training pool were redone, he said. In addition, the bathrooms, the concession area, concrete decking and the playground have all also undergone renovations within the last 10 years.
Making sure that all these projects are completed up to standards and that the pool is up and running on a daily basis is the responsibility of Paul Checchio, who works full-time for the town exclusively to care and maintain the pool complex.
“He’s the reason that the pool complex is in the condition that’s in both internally and externally,” said Kaufmann.
With more than 9,700 members, it’s the Westfield pool community that best supports the pool and all its activities. From those who like to simply sunbathe while reading on a lounge chair to the families and kids who build their entire summers around the pool to the serious – and not so serious – lap swimmers, the town pool takes on a special meaning for residents.
“I love to go to the pool because it’s fun and I get to see all of my friends,” said Rachel Werner, a second grader at Tamaques Elementary School.
Her mother, Julie Werner, added, “It’s a great place to see friends from the town who we don’t always see in the winter and a fun place to enjoy the summer.”
Non-members can go for the day with a member for $10 with a member or $20 on their own. For more information, call the Westfield Recreation Department at 908-789-4080 or visit www.westfieldnj.gov.
A frequent contributor to TAP into Westfield, Mike Cohen is the founder/director of Throwback Sports (a sports program for children of all abilities) and the sports editor of Education Update. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org