Pool Repair News

September 2, 2014

Thanks to the Parks Committee for throwing the summer celebration. It sounds like everyone had a great time!

Pool bacterial levels are only monitored June 15 - September 15. The facility remains open most of the year except closed during the winter.

July 11, 2014

The Conway Pool Party sponsored by the Parks, Recreation, and Trails Committee has been scheduled for Sunday, August 24th from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. There will be no rain date. This is the weekend before school starts.

The party will be coordinated by the Parks Committee. The event is free to the residents.

Mark your calendars and join us for Fun, Food, and Music!!! More information coming soon.

Volunteers are needed for the event. Please contact JJ Prusak at (413) 335-5038 or jjprusak@hughes.net.

July 9, 2014

The pool is closed today as the top coat of blacktop is paved.

The pool has only been open a little over a week and it's unfortunate we're having issues already. Trash must be carried out. People are disposing of their trash in the port-a-potty. The company may be removing the unit if this doesn't stop. Please help enforce the rules! It is up to our own community to keep this place enjoyable for our residents. We've had to ask many non-residents to leave this week, remove dogs from the site, and even ask someone to leave that had alcohol in glass bottles. It isn't easy, but we're all volunteers and need to cordially ask people to follow the rules or leave (and leave if they are not a resident).

June 19, 2014

Exciting News! For the first time in many, many years, there will be swim lessons at the Conway Pool! Lynn Bosman is organizing Red Cross certified instructors to provide swim lessons to the children of Conway. Monday June 30 through Thursday July 10. The cost is $40 per class per child. There are pre-school, beginner, advanced beginner, and intermediate levels being offered. Please email Lynn for more information or to register.

There will be a work-bee at the pool this Sunday, June 22nd starting at 9:00 AM. We'll need some strong bodies to do some final work at the site before opening next Friday. Bring a shovel, garden rake, or broom!

June 15, 2014

It's finally time! The pool will open beginning Friday, June 27th. At this time the grass areas will be roped off until growth is further along, but it won't be long! We ask that everyone stay on the pathways and beach to give the grass time to grow. We're doing last minute work to finish up some small items, but everyone is free to swim come the 27th. A town wide celebration will take place later in the summer.

We remind residents that this beautiful resource is for CONWAY RESIDENTS (and landowners). Not only will the committee be monitoring the pool, but we remind everyone that it is your responsibility and obligation to monitor this as well. Feel free to ask someone for their ID. If they're not from Conway or if rules are being broken, you have every right to ask them to leave. If they don't, you have every right to call the police. Please review the rules. Remember, no dogs, no alcohol, and take your trash with you.

May 21, 2014

Summer is almost here and everyone is anxious to use the pool. Mother Nature has thrown us a few curve balls with an early frost, a harsh winter, and a spring with excessive snowmelt and rain. While the dam construction was completed in the fall, we ask for your patience as we finish up the beach and accessibility construction during the month of June. As the days get hotter and the water warms up, we anticipate announcing a late June opening, but at the moment, THE POOL IS STILL CLOSED. One of the most critical parts of the project will be allowing the grass and vegetation to grow while we are all enjoying the beach and water. For this reason we ask that you please stay off the grass, and keep kids off the grass, until we remove the boundaries later this year.

We have had many people ask about how they can volunteer and help. We hope to have a single work day where volunteers can help assemble picnic tables, paint, install signs, and help with plantings. This will take place after contractors have finished. Check the website for information on scheduled work-bees and volunteer days. Less now, but more in the future, volunteers will be needed to continue cleanup and grounds maintenance.

December 25, 2013

What an amazing town. The support has been overwhelming and additional donations at the end of the year allowed us to meet our total fundraising goal.

So, where are we at? We can say that we're 95% done with the repairs and accessibility improvements and that the pool will be open in 2014 (in fact, the Sportsman Club will be holding their annual ice fishing derby in February). The contractor will return in the spring to deal with erosion and reseed the site and our biggest challenge will be keeping people off the grass until it has taken hold. We then have a lot of volunteer work to do. Our committee volunteers will be planting the necessary plants in the rain garden (stormwater control), putting up signs, building the accessible dock (and boardwalk and associated components), reinstalling safety items, doing some additional brush cutting, replacing the ladder on the raft, installing a new diving board, installing a ladder for the diving board, painting the swingset, installing the swings, painting and installing the grills, assembling the tables, installing light posts, wiring the electrical service, and finally... building a pavilion. Yes, that's a lot to do with just a handful of volunteers, but we're sure we'll have it done before the heat gets here!

Thanks to everyone's donations and including a large donation at the end of the project, we have met our fundraising goal. However, if you're still looking to donate, we have a few items that were not part of our original goal that we will need to fund. We have found donors for the materials of the pavilion and expect labor will not be an issue. An electrician from town will be donating his time for the electrical work and a local painter will be refinishing the swingset and grills for us. Items still in need of donating include a diving board (about $1500), and a flagpole and flag (about $1,000).

See you at the pool.

November 20, 2013

We have just a week to go before the contractor finishes dam repairs and accessibility improvements to the Conway Pool. It's been a long road (the pool closed in the fall of 2010 and the project started in 2011) but we're almost there. Committee volunteers have been working Sundays to do non-contract work such as re-installing the swing set, building the accessible dock, painting grills, and installing lights. This spring volunteers will continue wrapping up small items and we will all watch the grass grow at our revamped pool. There is still some desired work that could not be done due to funding which we'll soon provide more information on. Feel free to stop by the pool anytime after Thanksgiving to see the improvements and watch the pool fill once again. We plan on having a comprehensive update in the Visitor sometime in the next few months summarizing the project and financials.

September 16, 2013

The project is coming along well with no major issues. As you can see, there is a lot involved with the new structure and outlet pipe. Concrete work for the dam is now complete as is about 75% of the dredging. In the next few weeks the dam will be backfilled, new retainining walls will be installed, and work on the beach area will begin.

August 14, 2013

The pool committee is working with Davenport Construction to complete all the repairs and accessibility improvements this year. A temporary 36" by-pass pipe is in place to handle water flow as construction for the new 48" pipe is being worked on. This week the new outlet structure is being formed and within the next couple weeks you should see the dam being built back up again. It is estimated that dam and dredging will be complete by the end of September, with accessibility improvements starting immediately after. With mother nature's cooperation, all work should be completed by Thanksgiving.

July 12, 2013

In the next week you should begin to see construction equipment showing up at the site. While the bids came in much over budget, we were able to reduce, eliminate, and negotiate to get everything done this year. We kindly ask that residents stay away from the site, especially in areas of construction and where heavy equipment will be traveling. Safety is a big concern while construction is going on. While we expect to be done by the end of October, it will take time for new grass to take hold and we must be careful to control erosion until the site is "back to nature". For this reason, we ask that people stay off the grass areas of the site for the remainder of 2013. This will reduce the risk of having to "redo" any work and delay an opening in 2014. More news coming soon...

June 4, 2013

The project is being divided into Stage I and Stage II so that we can urgently get started on the Dam Repairs and Dredging. Stage I (Dam Repairs and Dredging) went out to bid June 3rd. Stage II will be the Accessibility Improvements of which we're still working out details, but hope to go to bid in the next few weeks so that it can be completed in conjuction with Stage I. We are still anticipating construction to take place between July 1 and September 30, 2013. More news coming in the next few weeks as we select a contractor.

April 29, 2013

The process of permitting is a long one. We've recieved a final order of conditions from the local Conservation Commission and are waiting for final permits from the DEP for the 401 Water Quality Certification, Department of Dam Safety, and Army Corps of Engineers Individual Permit. Based on feedback we're expecting to have everything in place to begin repairs in July. We anticipate having construction details complete and going out to bid very shortly. Our fundraising committee and the residents have been doing an amazing job. We're less than $55,000 from our needed funding.

April 1, 2013

The Selectboard, as trustees, formally voted to allocate up to $235,000 from the M&M Germain Trust Fund for accessibility improvements at the pool. The fundraising committee continues to push forward with donations and fundraising events. Including pledges not yet received, we have less than $75,000 to go. Permitting is going very well and we still anticipate repairs starting in July (we can't start earlier due to regulations).

March 18, 2013

THANK YOU for the overwhelming support at tonight's Special Town Meeting. With your help it appears we have secured up to $235,000 from the M&M Germain Trust for the accessibility improvements at the pool!! In addition, donations continue to come in and we can't thank you enough. While the fundraising thermometer will only show actual funds received, we also have committed pledges that bring our total even higher. As of tonight, we have less than $88,000 to go! We will keep you up to date as we hear from our permitting authorities.

March 16, 2013

The Fundraising Committee has been doing an unbelievable job in the past four weeks. After launching the committee on February 13th, the committee has raised almost $100,000 in PRIVATE donations! We're well on our way. If M&M Germain Funding is received, this currently leaves us with approximately $94,000 to go!!! Thank you!!!

March 5, 2013

All of our permit applications have been submitted... over 700+ pages of applications to organizations like the DEP, Army Corp of Engineers, Natural Heritage, Conservation Commission, etc. We are awaiting responses still hoping to be permitted in time to start construction in July.

There will be a special town meeting on March 18th at the Grammar School at 7:00 PM. On the warrant will be a non-binding article asking for the support of the residents in spending funds from the M&M Germain Trust Fund in order to pay for the accessibility improvements portion of the project. We need your support!!! Please attend and give an "aye"!

February 6, 2013

Thank you to all who attended our public forum yesterday! We hope you found it informative and we thank you for your questions and feedback, especially regarding funding ideas. Those interested in helping with fundraising can attend our next meeting on Tuesday, February 12th at 6:00 PM at the Grammar School Library. You can view or download the presentation by clicking here.

January 10, 2013

Work continues on preparing permit applications. The ENF (Environmental Notification Form) was submitted to the Executive Office fo Energy and Environmental Affairs MEPA Office. This 48 page application will be the shortest of all applications. On January 7, 2013 a Conservation Restriction was recorded in the Franklin County Registry of Deeds along with a Right of First Refusal as part of the long process for aquiring CPA funds for the restriction. The committee has scheduled a resident forum for February 5th and is working on an EXTREMELY comprehensive presentation. We hope to have a full house at the grammar school to show support for this very large project.

November 13, 2012

The pool committee's engineering firm has met with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for an open discussion regarding permitting and will begin submitting applications to the MADEP, US Army Corps of Engineers, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Office of Dam Safety, and even Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. Unfortunately, additional permitting requirements have increased engineering and permitting costs approximately $12,000. Construction estimates are being reviewed and should be available soon. The committee is in search of an experienced, large-scale fundraising person to help coordinate the committees fundraising efforts. We have approximately 5 months to raise the necessary funds for construction.

October 30, 2012

The committee continues to work diligently with many, many late night meetings and on-site visits. Our engineering firm also continues to push forward aggressively. While the firm has been working on construction cost estimates, the primary focus has been moving the necessary engineering forward required for submitting permits. Given that some permits may take 6 to 12 months to receive, timing is critical. We are expecting estimated construction estimates at our November 13th meeting so that we can publicize expected costs and begin active fundraising.

Engineers statement showing minimum required permitting.

Current conditions based on surveys.

October 1, 2012

Thanks to all that stopped by our booth at the Festival of the Hills! We were able to raise over $1,100!! If you were not able to pick up a flyer with the project summary, you can download one here.

September 19, 2012

Read the most recent press release discussing the progress and CPA funding here.

August 21, 2012

Conway Community Swimming Pool, Inc., has selected and signed a contract with Fuss & O'Neill. We are very excited and optimistic that after a very long and careful selection process we have chosen a great firm to work with. Fuss & O'Neill will take us through all the regulatory permitting and engineering necessary to get us to the construction phase at which point they will continue to be involved in the bidding process and oversee construction. We remain hopeful that we'll be able to complete construction and open the pool sometime in 2013. Please look for additional information at the Festival of the Hills. Active fundraising should begin within the next couple months, once preliminary construction costs are known.

August 8, 2012

The committee has received proposals from three different firms for engineering and permitting services for the Conway Pool and is in the process of reviewing them. To give an idea on the scope of this project, one proposal is 89 pages long, requires over 7 regulatory permits, has worst case scenario permitting at October of 2013 (that's how long it could take to get all the required permits), and has a cost exceeding $150,000. THIS IS FOR ENGINEERING AND PERMITTING SERVICES ONLY!!! Construction costs are still unknown at this time. The process of acquiring Community Preservation Act funds is still being worked through as there are many requirements and state reviews prior to any funding being released. The committee expects the CPA funds will cover the costs of engineering and permitting, but currently has no funding available for actual construction or annual maintenance. Once an engineering firm is selected and the committee has preliminary construction estimates, a public informational session will be planned.

July 2012 Visitor

A recap: Conway Community Swimming Pool, Inc., is a privately held organization which owns and runs the Conway Swimming Pool. The organization is run entirely by volunteers and has been since 1949. The "Pool Committee" (and the Pool) has no direct association with the town other than the forethought and generosity of previous generations to create something wonderful for the residents of Conway. Volunteers, their labor, and donations have managed to keep the pool a wonderful resource for residents for over 60 years including initial construction of the dam and pool, land donations, expansion, dredging and maintenance, beach replenishment, water tests, cleanup, bath houses, docks, diving boards, parking areas, lighting, mowing and property maintenance, safety, government filings and permitting, and the list goes on and on.

The pool was closed in the Fall of 2010 due to a sinkhole and related safety concerns with the dam. In addition, excessive storms and upstream activity in recent years had filled the pond with more silt than ever before. Attempts were made in 2011 to quickly repair the dam and dredge the pond using local volunteers as had been done for all the years prior. However, as the word quickly spread, it became apparent that we no longer lived in the mid 1900s and that compounding years of government rules and regulations were going to severely delay this project and create unimaginable expense. In late 2011 the committee regrouped and began engaging more resources to tackle what was to be a huge undertaking, both from an engineering and permitting perspective, and a financial perspective. With a budget just shy of $1,000 each year and donations dropping off more than 75% in recent years, a project with a cost upwards of $250,000 was going to be a challenge. Given the extensive permitting required and new regulations, the decision was made to make sure all related projects were tackled at the same time including general long-term planning, annual maintenance plans, settling pond improvements, reclaiming of the beach area, walking paths, and lighting.

For the past 6 months of 2012 the committee has been moving forward diligently, but carefully. Keep in mind that while we anticipate the actual work and repairs to only take a few weeks, the engineering and permitting processes are estimated to take a year to complete, prior to any repair activity. There are over 6 local, state, and federal agencies involved including the Department of Dam Safety, Army Corp of Engineers, Conservation Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, and each has one or more permitting requirements of which one may have a dependency on the other. Permitting costs alone are expected to exceed $50,000. Most people are aware that the process of working with, preparing documents and required engineering, and awaiting responses from these agencies can take weeks and months (now multiply that by 6).

The good news is that we continue to move forward. We have currently engaged three different environmental engineering firms of which we'll choose one to manage all aspects of the project from environmental and civil engineering to permitting to construction management. By the time you read this we will likely have chosen our partner. The permitting process has been jump started by the committee in working with the Conway Conservation Commission, who has been supportive, and the Department of Dam Safety, of which we're waiting for a jurisdictional determination. In addition, the committee also just completed a mutual land swap with an abutter to further secure the future of the pool and dam resources. Our plans remain to have the pool open once again for the summer of 2013.

The committee thanks you for your patience and understanding and reminds everyone that that no one is more frustrated and wants the pool up and running more than the core committee of volunteers. We have been communicating as regularly as and wide spread as possible to keep residents informed but encourage you to check in at www.ConwaySwimmingPool.org for the most recent updates or email us at ConwaySwimmingPool@gmail.com with offers for volunteering, questions, or concerns.

June 16, 2012

The committee continues to meet every two weeks, often days inbetween, and never a day goes by when work isn't being done. A survey for a land swap has been finalized and the Pool Committee, Community Preservation Committee, and Conservation Commission continue to work through the many details for securing CPA funding as part of the Conservation Restriction.

We remind residents that unfortunately days have past where the rolls of red tape were small and response times were short. We are working with many local, state, and federal agencies, where getting the proper paperwork and permitting can take months.

May 15, 2012

The town voted to purchase a conservation restriction on the Swimming Pool land using Community Preservation Act funds in the amount of $123,000. Thank you to all who supported this article!

May 14, 2012

Times are very different than they were 62 years ago when the pool was built. The committee has been working diligently in hopes of having at least the minimal repairs completed so as to open the pool in 2012. Despite the willingness and efforts, the pool is not expected to be open in 2012. Doing the actual work (which would likely take less than 3 weeks) and funding are minor obstacles and the committee would have expected all work to be complete by the end of June had it not been for the countless laws and regulations that must be followed in the year 2012.

The committee has worked with the local Conservation Commission of which has been very supportive of this project. However, there are many other governing organizations that will prevent moving forward in a timely and cost-effective manner. While the committee continues to move forward, keep in mind that we are forced to deal with and abide by laws governing the following organizations. We now expect the engineering and permitting that is required in itself to take over one year to obtain, at a cost that could exceed $50,000 (just for the engineering and permitting). Final construction costs are not yet known due to the complexity caused by the regulations.

A handful of the organizations include:

  • Conway Conservation Commission
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP) - Wetlands Protection Act (WPA), Wetland and Waterways
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs - Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA)
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP) - Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA)
  • Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) - Rivers & Harbors Act, State General Permit, Water Quality Certification

March 13, 2012

The committee has received approval for the $123,000 application submitted for Community Preservation Act funds. The funds would be used to purchase a conservation restriction. The funds can not be used directly for pool repairs. We need your support at town meeting. Please see the presentation on the CPA Funds here.

Work has started with the local Conservation Commission and also with construction details in order to get estimates from local contractors. Large fundraising projects are currently on hold until we have an idea of true project costs. Those estimates are expected to be known by mid-April. We ask that anyone wishing to help with fundraising wait for an announcement when we have figures.

February 15, 2012

The committee is moving forward and is exploring funding resources from the town and Community Preservation Act. While funding from these resources is possible there will still be additional funding needed to complete this extensive project.

January, 2012

The officers, committee members, and the residents of Conway are pulling together for necessary pool repairs. Before the pool can be reopened, major repairs must be made to the spillway (pipe through the dam) and large amounts of sediment must be removed from the pond area. Three committees have been formed: The Fundraising and Communication Committee, the Dam Repair Committee, and the Pond Dredging Committee. The website www.conwayswimmingpool.org was developed to keep residents informed, offer information and history of the pool, and provide information for donating. It is the intent of the organization to hold a public informational session in the future as the group moves forward and has more detailed information.

Conway Community Swimming Pool is also actively gathering historical information, documents, and photos for historical purposes. If you or someone you know has information or photos of the pool, including personal knowledge, please contact us so we may record the information. We would like to scan photos and documents all of which can be returned to the owner. Thank you.