FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham Youth Council voted unanimously to support the purchase of the Belknap pool & club by the City of Framingham.
The Council voted 8-0 Sunday night to recommend to the 11-member City Council to purchase the outdoor pool and 6 acres of land.
Voting in favor were Isabella Petroni, Chloe Mills, Hamza Rifki, Ashwina Bangari, Avi Padyachee , Alison Jones, Jordan Summerfield, and Annabel Francis. (only eight of the 13 members were in attendance for the vote)
“It would provide the City of Framingham a place for swimming programs to be held definitively. It would also help to unify the youth of Framingham by providing a pool to be used by all, regardless of their socioeconomic status,” wrote the Youth Council.
“It would allow Framingham to have town spirit by making sure that the city’s recreational and high school swim teams are swimming in a pool owned by their city. It would make it easier for Framingham’s swim teams to not have to struggle to find a pool to use,” wrote the Youth Council in its position statement to the City Council.
The Framingham Parks & Recreations swim team, the Framingham Frogs, uses Keefe Technical as its home pool, but when the pool closes for part of the summer, the Frogs train outside at the Belknap pool.
Also Framingham High’s championship-caliber swim & dive teams also swim at Keefe Technical.
The Youth Council wants the City to purchase Belknap and consider investing in an inflatable pool bubble like the Town of Wayland. That pool is home to Wayland’s championship swim & dive teams.
“If Framingham decides to make the purchase, the Youth Council would want the City to look into the purchase of a dome to make the pool be available for use year round, and for all municipal and school programs to be prioritized by the pool,” wrote the Councilors to the Mayor and to the City Council.
Inflatable pool domes cost about $10 to $20 a foot.
In 2010, Wayland opened its new 10-lane pool. The pool has an inflatable canvas dome that can be removed during the summer months. The new pool, dome, locker rooms, office space, etc was about $2.5 million a decade ago.
The City of Framingham’s Parks & Recreation Department said it would cost the City of Framingham about $2 million to upgrade the Belknap site.
Framingham Athletic Director is in favor of keeping the pool & club.
“I would love to see it remain a pool and viable resource to the community. It’s great to have a swimming program and any outlet for our kids to be together,” said Framingham High School Athletic Director Paul Spear told SOURCE. “It would also be great if we had a larger recreation center with basketball courts, or a private company that would come in and put a track or an indoor facility with turf. That would certainly be a welcomed thing to Framingham.”
Editor’s Note: In full transparency, the youth council chair is my daughter.