Greenwich Pool at Byram Park Officially Opens
By Richard Kaufman
With heavy rainfall forecasted for the morning hours on Thursday and showers scattered throughout the rest of the day, the ribbon cutting ceremony for the brand new pool in Byram Park was put in jeopardy.
But as if on cue, the rain subsided shortly before 10 a.m. The sun poked out from behind the clouds, blue skies eventually appeared over the Long Island Sound, and with one swift cut from a pair of golden scissors on red ribbon, Greenwich’s newest family destination spot was open for business.
Over 150 people, which included state and local elected officials and town residents, gathered near the main entrance and concession area for the ceremony.
“Welcome to the new pool at Byram Park,” said First Selectman, Peter Tesei, to cheers and applause from the crowd. “We’re gathered here today for a really momentous occasion.”
Tesei said the opening of the new facility serves a way to build upon the history and legacy of the property of Byram Park.
“If you look at this beautiful property and its history, going back to the Ritch family and its contributions to the town during the early 20th century, and then the town’s decision to buy the Rosenwald property… Today’s event really is building upon that history an that legacy of this particular place,” he said. “Just as the Greenwich Historical Society has a campaign that says ‘This Place Matters,’ well truly, Byram Park and this location truly matters to the town and its history and its future.”
Tesei thanked the numerous town employees for stepping forward through the years in order to complete the project. “Each of you hold a piece of this as part of your contributions to the future of our town, and for that, on behalf of our citizens I am extremely grateful and thankful to each and every one of you,” he said.
Tesei also thanked the Junior League of Greenwich, which played a pivotal role in helping the pool come to fruition. Through a public/private partnership with the Town, the JLG pledged to raise $2.5 million as part of the overall $9.5 million project. The JLG is just about $125,000 away from its goal.
“Without the Junior League’s organizational skills, tenacity, perseverance and ability to raise the resources to support this wonderful amenity for our town, we would not be here,” Tesei added.
“This really is an exciting moment,” said JLG President, Elizabeth Peyton. “It’s a moment to celebrate the successful partnership we’ve had with the Town over the last 10 years. It’s a moment to anticipate sunnier days where we will all be back there [by the pool] playing, relaxing and swimming and creating memories with our families in this magnificent setting.”
Peyton said that to go from a good idea to the completion of a capital improvement project, there needs to be a level of respect, hard work, goodwill and patience. She thanked the Junior League and the Town of Greenwich for its support, and then called up Debbie Lash and Carisa Sykes, co-chairs of the JLG’s Pool Committee, to help cut the ribbon with Tesei.
Afterwards, attendees strolled around the facility, and some even took a dip into the pool as lifeguards looked on from their perches.
The facility, which is nestled neatly along the shore of the Long Island Sound, is six times larger than the previous pool.
Along with expanded parking, the area features a 6,400 square foot primary pool; six defined 25-meter lap lanes; zero depth entry which allows for people to walk directly into the pool without the use of stairs or ladders; an aerobic exercise area; 400 square foot kiddie pool; 1,000 square foot Splash Pad with interactive water features; Pool Pavilion with restrooms, changing rooms, lifeguard station and concession stand.
The main pool will be open from 11 a.m., to 7 p.m., with the Kiddie Pool closing at 6 p.m.
For more information on the pool and entry, click here.
For an expanded story and more photos, be sure to check out next week’s issue of the Greenwich Sentinel