When’s the last time you visited Byram Park? The 100-year-old waterfront park with a beach, ball field, tennis courts and boat slips will have even more to offer town residents this summer when the new community pool is unveiled in May. As part of a major revitalization project, the thirty-acre park opened a new playground more than a year ago and now this cutting-edge pool—the centerpiece for the park plan—will bring outdoor swimming programs with Long Island Sound views to all ages.
While construction crews broke ground in August 2016, the Junior League of Greenwich first partnered with the town in 2010. “The League has a process of identifying community needs and finding ways to address them,” says Debby Lash, who with Carisa Sykes cochairs the pool committee. “This came on our radar back then because the town was interested in Byram Park and had a plan for revitalizing it,” says Debby, who notes that the project required approval by several town groups. In 2015 when the RTM approved the plan, the Junior League made a $250,000 lead gift and is currently conducting a capital campaign (jlgreenwich.org to make a donation).
“Byram Park provides a beautiful setting for this pool,” says Junior League President Debra McLaughlin. Designed by Weston & Sampson, the pool accommodates up to 300 people (the old pool’s capacity was forty). “We are extremely proud to be a partner in the revitalization.
The pool will impact the physical, mental and social health of individuals of all ages and abilities for generations.” The pool also opens up possibilities for swim and water-safety programs—from outdoor Mommy-and-Me classes to senior aqua aerobics—which will be handled through the Department of Parks and Recreation.
THE BIG DIPPER: WHAT’S IN STORE
• 6,400-square-foot main pool with six 25-meter lap lanes
• 400-square-foot kiddie pool
• 1,000-square-foot splash pad
• aerobic exercise area
• pavilion with changing rooms
• concession stand
• cafe & outdoor terrace
With its zero-depth entry, the new pool enables people to walk in without ladders or stairs, so it’s more handicap-friendly and also great for little kids. Abilis has reached out to the League and may be introducing programs at the pool.
The town’s summer learn-to-swim program, previously held at the high school pool, will be moving to the new Byram pool with a flexible schedule of three two-week sessions for different age groups and abilities. Kids attending the owner’s Adventurers Camp will also spend time at the pool. And groups like Byram Archibald Neighborhood Center’s summer program and Community Centers Inc. may take advantage of the new facilities, too.