POUGHKEEPSIE – Mayor Marc Nelson announced construction is commencing on a new $2.4 million pool house for Pulaski Park, and Spratt Park Pool will open with extended hours this season on June 30.
The city has demolished the old pool house at Pulaski and will use American Rescue Plan Act funds to cover the cost of the new one. The new pool house will include a men’s room, women’s room, family bathrooms, lifeguard room, office welcome desk, storage area and a kitchen.
The Pulaski construction work will necessitate the closure of that pool this summer, and the city has worked with its Poughkeepsie City School District and Dutchess County partners to create alternative plans to help alleviate the impact of this closure.
The School District has agreed to allow the city to use the Middle School pool for designated lap hours and for swimming lessons. Dutchess County will provide free bus service from the Pulaski location to Spratt Pool on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning on July 7, making it easier for residents living near the Pulaski site to get to and from the Spratt Pool. This will be a special route service that will not be making additional stops.
“This level of cooperation is simply outstanding, and we thank both our school district and Dutchess County partners for stepping up to help us provide creative solutions for the benefit of all city residents. We know how important our public pools are to city residents, and we believe we have found a solid solution while we make long-term improvements at Pulaski,” said Mayor Nelson.
Under the plan, Spratt Pool will be open with fees waived again this year and with expanded hours — from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. The first two hours will be for lap swimming for adults and competitive level swimmers, with open, recreational swimming commencing at 11 a.m. until close.
On a first-come, first-served basis, bus transportation will be available from Pulaski Park off Washington Avenue to the Spratt Park Pool site off Wilbur Boulevard at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and returning trips will be made 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
There is also a fixed-route bus service requiring a fare that has stops at Pulaski Park, the Transit Hub on Market Street and the corner of Hooker Avenue and Wilbur Boulevard, which is about a .5 mile walk from Spratt Pool. That schedule can be seen at the Dutchess County Public Transit website www.dutchessny.gov/Departments/Public-Transit/Public-Transit.htm.
The Poughkeepsie Middle School on College Avenue will be used predominantly for lessons between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Fridaythrough mid-August. Lesson sign-up sheets will be available at both the Middle School and the Spratt Park pools. The city will supply the lifeguard staff and any necessary pool treatment chemicals and also will be purchasing an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant lift for installation at the Middle School pool. The Middle School pool also will be available for adult swimming from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The city will be able to use the Middle School pool until August 16,after which it will be closed for maintenance and upkeep and will reopen for students and athletic teams before school begins.Spratt Pool will remain open until August 25.
Nelson said cooperation of this nature has been nourished by the creation of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet, formed by the city and School District in 2020 to create a citywide “cradle-to-career” agenda for children, youth and families. Children’s cabinets are used by localities around the country to bring together school districts, government agencies, child-serving community organizations and other local stakeholders to improve their ability to collaborate and coordinate youth supports and services.
The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet meets periodically and includes Dutchess County officials as well as representatives from area higher education institutions, health care facilities and nonprofits.
Poughkeepsie City School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser said, “Creating the Children’s Cabinet with the city has been one of our important endeavors. The communication and cooperation between the city and school district has never been better, and this agreement regarding the city’s use of the Middle School pool is a testament to the hard work that has been put in place to foster the relationship and to see tangible and meaningful results to the community.”
Common Council Chairwoman Natasha Brown, who also serves on the Children’s Cabinet in her role as the district’s Community Schools Executive Director, said, “The city, school district and county have worked diligently on these alternative plans, and city residents will benefit greatly once the pool house project is completed. The school district is also planning youth activities outside the Middle School this summer that will be held in conjunction with the swimming lessons.” More information about those activities will be provided in the weeks ahead.