Gertrude Park Pool opens Sunday

Gertrude Park visitors will slip into swimsuits in an updated facility this year.

The public pool, built in 1954 by community members, will open for the season Sunday, June 29, following extensive renovations to the changing rooms funded with grant money.

The men's and women's changing rooms were both gutted and renovated, now boasting new fixtures, updated plumbing and fresh paint inside and out. Following an incident last summer, a fence will be erected to close off access to the roof from the hill behind the building, where a group of teens had been spotted jumping from the roof into the pool. Other renovations include a resurfaced wading pool, repainted with a gritty, textured material to help prevent slips, and a painted fence.

In addition, an unusually large life guarding crew will line the pool this year. Head guard Colleen McCormack said the 18 lifeguards hired this year is up from the average eight to 10, but should help accommodate for flexible summer schedules.

Parks committee chair Kathleen Marinelli said the future vision for the park includes moving the kid's area to the front of the park, installing a full 'spray park' and replacing the current wading pool with a barbeque and picnic area.

When the pool closes in August, the floor and interior wall surface will be replaced, and a cover will be installed for the winter months, made possible by grants from Community Development and New York State Preservation Association.

Marinelli hopes the new fencing and pool cover will help prevent trash and debris from being thrown into the pool during the off-season and deter trespassers.

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