Friday, 23 September 2011 00:00
I am writing this letter to express my disappointment in the renovation of the Manorhaven Park Pool. It is a pretty pool that does not meet the needs of the majority of longtime pool patrons. It is fashioned as a resort pool that people look at and don’t swim in.
This pool is such a big disappointment to anyone who likes to swim, competitively or otherwise. It is a wading pool, not a family pool. It is appropriate for the 8 and under crowd. It is not a pool for adults, teens and anyone over about four and a half feet tall. The new pool is too shallow. The new lanes are five feet deep at one end and shallower at the other end. The lanes are too shallow for water aerobics and too shallow for having blocks to dive off of. The new lanes are also much narrower than they were in the old pool, making loop swimming more difficult.
The pool has been home to the Red Devils Swim Team for many years with many kids looking forward to each new season. This year crowded lanes and less room to swim laps made practices much less fun and productive than in past years for this Division 1 team. There has always been a shortage of lanes for team practice given the large size of the team (over 140 children this year). TONH should have been adding lanes to the Manorhaven pool instead of keeping just six lanes and narrowing these lanes by one to two feet per lane, especially since the renovation took out the diving tank which, in past years, could accommodate the overflow swimmers during practice. Additionally, adding lanes would have allowed for swim lessons by lifeguards and additional lap swimming by other patrons throughout the day.
Another comment on the new lanes is that they are situated in a spot that makes watching meets difficult in the early morning, when the meets are and have always been scheduled. The officials and spectators must now look directly into the sun, as it rises, in order to watch. The flags for swimming backstroke have no fittings on the side of the pool to make sure they are set up properly at each meet and at each practice. This makes setting up the flags take longer and if it is not done properly can be dangerous for the kids swimming backstroke. There are no blocks (or block fittings) to practice dives and back stroke starts. This puts the Manorhaven swimmers at a disadvantage when at away meets and is embarrassing when we are at home meets. At home meets backstroke starts are now facilitated by holding onto the ankles of another swimmer standing at the start of the lane.
Additional problems I see with the pool are:
There is far less shade at this pool than the old pool. Hopefully this can be rectified by next year.
The overall pool configuration with the island in the middle makes watching your kids more difficult. The island requires that the pool hire far more lifeguards than in the past— to keep kids off of the island and also to patrol blind spots. In my opinion,the island should go. It might look nice at a resort but it takes up valuable swimming space and creates the need for more lifeguards and money to care for plantings that are on the island.
The new kiddie pool is not lined. The old kiddie pool was lined and that was its best feature. No cut hands and feet. Not so this year.
The zero entry portion of the large pool takes up a quarter of the space of the whole pool. A ramp would have been more appropriate. Additionally, this zero entry section invites very young children to swim in the big pool resulting in more cases of having to close the pool for accidents. It’s just bad planning.
The new women’s rest room is disgusting. It is hard to believe that anyone could have opened the pool with this restroom, which is far less clean than the old one due to design and construction problems.
Air conditioning in the breezeway is a waste of TONH taxpayer money as the doors are often open on both sides. Additionally air conditioning is probably not necessary in the rest rooms. When children in wet bathing suits are going in to use the bathroom— they don’t need cold air blowing on them. I can understand the offices, party rooms and lifeguard areas being air conditioned but not the other spaces.
The new pool looks beautiful if you are staying out of the water and want to enjoy the view, and don’t mind that you probably can’t find any shade. However if you like to swim— it is a very big disappointment. I hope the town will consider removing the island and deepening and widening the lap lanes (if possible) as well as deepening at least one other section of the pool. And if the TONH takes over the Roslyn facility they are looking at, perhaps they will work with the local schools —-Manhasset, Port Washington and Roslyn— to help accommodate their High School swim teams. This was not done here and it would have been nice.
I have sent a similar letter to TONH and the Parks Department and hope other people who might also be disappointed with the new pool will voice their opinions.