Proposed Trumbull town pool could grow

The Aquatics Facility Building Committee has ruled out demolishing the existing Hillcrest pool and building the new facility in its place.

The Aquatics Facility Building Committee has ruled out demolishing the existing Hillcrest pool and building the new facility in its place.

Donald Eng /

After making the rounds and touring several aquatics facilities in the state, Trumbull’s Aquatics Facilities Committee is looking into the possibility of recommending construction of a new pool nearly double the size of the one it would replace.

Town Councilman Jason Marsh, (D-3rd District), who is chairman of the committee, recently updated the Town Council on the group’s progress. In the past few weeks, he said, committee members had toured aquatics facilities in Cheshire and Westport, and had gathered information on a few others.

“What we noticed is that these towns have a true community pool,” Marsh said. “They are used for recreational swimming, for competitive swimming, people can use it for lap swimming and aquatherapy.”

The pool at Hillcrest, more than 50 years old, has been outdated for years, Marsh said. Breakdowns are common, requiring the town’s competitive swim teams to scramble to find practice venues. The pool also is limited in that it cannot support competitive diving due to its low ceilings. Renovating the existing Hillcrest pool is not considered an option due to the security concerns of having people coming and going from the building during school hours.

The Cheshire facility impressed the committee with its sheer size. The eight-lane, 50-meter pool is nearly triple the size of the 25-yard, six-lane Hillcrest pool.

“In this respect, bigger is definitely better,” Marsh said.

The Cheshire facility, though, is not something that could happen in Trumbull. For starters, Cheshire’s pool was originally built as an outdoor pool but was later roofed to create an all-season facility.

“From a cost and space standpoint, a 50-meter pool is not feasible for Trumbull,” Marsh said.

But if doubling the length of the pool compared to Hillcrest can’t happen, the pool still could be widened. Rather than having six lanes, increasing the pool’s width to eight or 10 lanes would also make it much more versatile, he said.

“The idea is to have something that the entire community can use at all hours,” he said. “If you shift from six lanes to eight or 10, you can have swimming lessons at the same time as the swim team is practicing, or aquacize class is going on.”

Another possibility is having a smaller section, possibly with a gradual entrance ramp, off the main pool. This would make entry into the water easier for seniors or those using the pool for therapy.

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro said it was critical to thoroughly study the issue before the committee made its recommendations to the public.

“We must avoid mistakes of the past such as purchasing land or other property before a thorough and complete analysis is completed,” she said. “Three town-owned properties are being considered as a possible location for this facility.”

Marsh said the committee has had discussions with Wiles Architects, which has been producing design concepts for the proposed new Trumbull facility, about intergrating aspects of the other facilities into the Trumbull design concept. In the coming weeks, the committee also will begin to bring in various community stakeholders to gether feedback on the project.