A new era began in the town of Cheshire when it comes to the new and improved Cheshire community pool, which kicked off a new beginning with a grand opening on Sunday. While there are certainly die-hard Democrats and die-hard Republicans in town, the upgraded facility with its new permanent tension membrane covering transcends any differences among party lines in the community.
Pride was on full display on both sides of the aisle with smiles on the faces of every politician at the grand opening supplemented by an excitement among the general public unseen in town in a very long time.
“This is really great, this is very impressive,” Republican Town Councilman and honorary chairman Rob Oris said about the pool. “Seeing all these people here (at the grand opening), it’s a testament to how strong the swimming community is in this town.” A beaming Democrat Town Councilman Peter Talbot, Town Council liaison to the Parks and Rec Commission, couldn’t seem to shake enough hands at the event. This is awesome, I couldn’t be more thrilled,” Talbot said. “The pool looks great and everyone I talk to here is impressed with it. It’s great to see all these people come out and be a part of this grand opening.” Officials at the event estimated that a crowd of 400 attended the grand opening.
Oris, Cheshire Parks and Rec director Bob Ceccolini, Cheshire Town manager Michael Milone, Cheshire Public Building Commission chairman Mark Nash and Cheshire Pool director Sheila Adams were the key speakers to usher in the new era of the pool. After the speeches there was a ribbon cutting ceremony that included Parks and Rec Commission chairman Jim Nankin. After the ribbon was cut, the public was invited to line up around the edge of the pool and jump in together to kick off the use of the pool. Ceccolini, Milone, Nash and Adams jumped in with their clothes on. The pool has had its well-documented issues over the years, including two collapsed bubble coverings in 2011 and 2013.“We’ve had to endure so much with this pool,” Milone said. “Moving forward things will be much better as we begin a new era.”
The swimming community had been anticipating the grand opening for a long, long time. The Cheshire YMCA Sea Dog Swim Club, the town’s youth swim club, and the Cheshire High boys and girls swim teams now have their home pool back. The high school teams have been using Hamden Hall’s pool for practices and “home” meets. “We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time, everyone is so excited,” Cheshire High girls swim coach Dan Mascolo said at the grand opening. He is also an associate head coach for the Sea Dogs. “The permanent covering looks impressive and they also did a great job refurbishing the pool deck.”
The Cheshire High boys swim team will start using the community pool for its practices and home meets this week. For more information about the pool including season passes and swim programs, contact pool director Sheila Adams or desk attendant Tracey Kozlowski at 203-271-3208.
“I love it, this pool is going to be so great for the town,” Democrat Town Councilwoman Liz Linehan said. “Everyone I talk to is impressed and you just have to look at how excited everyone is to know what it means to the community.”
Dan Nowak is chairman of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee's Communication Relations/IT Committee, a volunteer position. He is a Cheshire Parks and Recreation Commissioner and has been a sportswriter for the New Haven Register for 34 years.