GOSHEN—The Goshen Sports Complex has a new addition—a 25-yard, six lane, heated community pool.
The pool has a heated floor and in the warmer months, a garage door-like wall that opens to an outdoor patio.
George Lyons, who serves on the Goshen town board, said he hasn’t seen a community pool in the 42 years he has lived in Goshen and is excited that one has finally opened.
“The people that really want to swim around here go to the school districts that have pools, like Valley Central and Monroe-Woodbury,” he said. “Probably the thing that most people use, is the Y[MCA] up in Middletown.”
He said he plans to get a pass for his whole family, including his grandkids.
Melissa Kubik, who grew up in Middletown and has been swimming since she was young, is now the aquatics director for the pool, called the Goshen Community Pool.
“As somebody who was a swimmer for the majority of my life, it was always something where we felt bad for our friends who were from Goshen or Chester or Florida, because they didn’t have a pool,” she said.
Now, she is not only the aquatics director for the pool, but the first swim coach for the Goshen high school team, which has been given four lanes for training.
“I think the best thing we are actually doing here is donating the time to the high school team,” said Kubik.
Kubik is also the head coach for the New York Sharks in Goshen, a regional swim club that has teams in Orange and Rockland counties.
“We don’t have our official numbers in yet [for the Goshen New York Sharks] as the first practice is Sept. 8, but I do know that I must answer 20 phone calls a day looking for information about the Sharks themselves, so I see us getting a good number of swimmers here,” she said.
Edgar Perez, the manager of the Goshen Community Pool and head coach for the New York Sharks, said he hopes swimming lessons will help the community as much as they helped him. He started swimming because his doctor recommended it for his asthma, and he says it has been a valuable life skill to have.
“Every time you hear about a kid drowning, it’s really terrible,” he said. “Swim lessons—very important.”
The pool opened mid July with what Kubik calls a “soft opening.” The ribbon cutting with the Goshen Chamber of Commerce was on Aug. 27.
“We didn’t want to push starting a new swim lesson program and a swim team too late into the summer season—if you’re taking swim lessons, you’re probably going to sign up in June—so we really wanted to focus on the end of August, beginning of September to do our big push, and it seems like it’s been working,” she said.
Because it wasn’t advertised, Kubik said it was a little slow at first, but the traffic is picking up as word gets out.
“I’ve been answering 30 emails a day, 20 phone calls a day, we have new members signing up left and right,” she said. “Our swim lessons are almost full, which is great for a new program.”
The community has been longing for a community pool for a long time, said Lyons, who was part of earlier efforts to get a pool in the community.
“There were a bunch of people who wanted to get a community pool together so we put money down, but we didn’t get enough people to be able to do it,” he recalled, saying that was back when his now full-grown children were young.
“The next one that occurred was with the school district,” he said. “We were going to put an addition onto the Hooker building next to the middle school. That worked for a while but that fell on hard times as well.”
A community pool was finally built because two people, Darshan and Rupinder Chilana, the owners of the building, heeded the calls from the community.
“We knew that this was needed,” Rupinder said.
They invested an estimated $1.2 million of their own money into the addition to the sports complex, and countless hours designing, applying for permits, and overseeing the construction of it. When asked if they would recoup their costs, they said they were taking a long view on it.
“We are not in favor of getting high rents and making fast money,” said Rupinder. “It’s going to take time.”
And do they plan to use it themselves?
“We don’t swim, we just sometimes sit in it,” Rupinder said.
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