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Jim

Brand Park Pool

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20 hours ago, KarenK said:

I am beyond sick of hearing about it honestly.

I get it. It's a conversation that's been going on for as far back as I can remember. Several people have stepped up and then seeing what a project it is, or the overall lack of support from the public, back off. 

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Only in this frickin state don’t need a “study” to tear something down:

REPORT 

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Just need a little paint over the graffiti and some TLC.

 

Pay no attention to the full grown trees growing in the pool floor (foundation of the structure), it's nothing that a few volunteers with a couple bags of Sakrete can't spiff up good as new.

image.png.709469c24cbc07517e825b66097f086c.png

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Seriously, what do you need to “study” to tear this thing down, gravity?

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1 hour ago, Chris said:

Only in this frickin state don’t need a “study” to tear something down:

REPORT 

Another "unfunded mandate" required out of city funds those taxpayers have to cover.

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10 hours ago, KarenK said:

Another "unfunded mandate" required out of city funds those taxpayers have to cover.

Exactly!

To tell us what anyone (even laypersons) can clearly see. 

And what if the mandated study believes there is some chance that it 'could' be salvaged?  Where do the funds come from to take immediate action for it to stay in a 'salvageable' condition (before further decay requires....another study)?  

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13 hours ago, Chris said:

Seriously, what do you need to “study” to tear this thing down, gravity?

It’s not about the study, it’s about sharing the money.

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New developments have arisen that should give the city reason to reconsider tearing down Brand Park Pool.

First, NYS has agreed to set up a fund of $160 million to build or restore pools in the state, especially in under-served communities.

Second, the NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has asked the City of Elmira to conduct a study of the condition of the building, undoubtedly because the last study was done in 2010, because they consider the pool of historic value and because the state is establishing this fund.

About 4-5 weeks ago, I discovered the news about the state's new grand program and wrote a letter to the Star-Gazette. I sent it 3 times, and each time they refused to publish it. So, I have written the editors asking for a reason, but they refuse to answer me.

I have decided to post the letter here, and I ask you to consider writing your City of Elmira council rep and the mayor encouraging them to apply for the state grant and to look for opportunities to restore this magnificent monument to Elmira's past and, hopefully, its future.

Letter:

Recently Governor Hochul announced that she and the state legislature have agreed to allocate $160 million to build or restore swimming pools throughout our state. This money could prove to be an incredibly advantageous windfall for Elmira, and I urge the city council to consider this opportunity to restore Brand Park Pool. Swimming pools offer great value to cities, and BPP is an especially important asset to Elmira.

The value of swimming pools.
Like pools throughout the U.S., BPP attracted children and adults in droves. They spent the entire day there, in a safe place. They learned to swim, they socialized and played with their friends, they met and interacted with people of diverse backgrounds, and they stayed out of mischief.

I have spoken with lots a people who used to go to BPP. Their experiences are outstanding memories, mostly unforgettable stories of shared moments of joy and friendship, but sometimes of comfort. Some, for example, told me that they went there to get away from life’s troubles, and studies have shown that pools serve to promote mental as well as physical health. They are therapeutic. No other park activities come anywhere near providing the enormous advantages of swimming pools. No other activities strengthen our democracy and build community as do public pools.
 
Historic preservation
Cities and towns in America are thriving because of historic restoration. They often work with Main Street America, a subdivision of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which has a proven record of reviving the urban fabric of thousands of towns across America. Its fundamental approach is twofold: the restoration of downtowns and historic preservation. Downtowns, which drive the tax base when they flourish, and historic buildings give character and charm to cities. People want to be there, to work and live there. They are walkable, and they create a sense of place that is inviting, attractive and alive with diverse, small businesses. They are diametrical opposites of malls.

Elmira has made some wonderful advances in its downtown recently. Entrepreneurs have rehabbed and retrofitted numerous historic buildings that have made a appealing, economic impact on the city, and Elmira has undertaken to restore the clock tower on City Hall, a necessary if only a bit delayed endeavor. These efforts are not enough. We need to pay attention to buildings like Elmira’s Brand Park Pool, which, through its rich history, its unique architecture, its imposing character, and its attraction endows the city with great value. Restoring it will show the Southside that the city cares about it, and it will stimulate further investment and improvement in that part of Elmira. If we get this grant, the benefits will be invaluable to recreation, economic development, the sense of community, and the revitalization of the Southside, as well as to the our great heritage.

The state grant
New York’s proposal to build and restore more public pools is part of a national trend that acknowledges the importance of swimming lessons to combat deaths by drowning in the U.S., particularly among minority groups, and deaths from excessive heat. It also addresses the need to support and improve underserved communities, communities like Elmira’s 5th district.

The state appropriation is particularly relevant to Elmira. It provides money for restoration of our rare, historic pool and architectural gem in an area of the city that needs investment and incentives. In addition, it underwrites lifeguard training and swimming lessons/water safety classes in a program that would partner Elmira with CCC in a win-win endeavor. The swimming lessons could be held either at BPP or at the CCC pool.

The appropriation would also help increase the number of lifeguards, which declined significantly throughout the country during the pandemic, not only by underwriting their training but also by paying their wages. And we might consider supplementing the wages with an incentive like the one in Philadelphia, which holds a “Philly Phreeze,” where participants jump in the water in winter to raise bonuses for their lifeguards. That event has substantially helped recruit lifeguards.

Finally, the grant would provide transportation for kids to the pool for swimming lessons and promote community swim classes.

Today, governments throughout the U.S. are incentivizing the building and restoring of swimming pools. They recognize the great public good that pools bring to our communities, and they are even finding new uses for them. In Philadelphia, for example, which has begun to restore its public pool system, one pool offers Aquatic Zumba exercise for seniors.

Let’s save a rare and magnificent treasure in the fabric of Elmira, and let’s make swimming a public good here, not a luxury. This opportunity is too good to let go.

For more information on the state grant, check the article of Mar. 28 in the Star-Gazette:
https://www.stargazette.com/story/news/ny-news/2024/03/28/will-more-pools-curb-drownings-inside-ny-safe-swimming-sites-push/73094156007/

 

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7 hours ago, Jim said:

About 4-5 weeks ago, I discovered the news about the state's new grand program and wrote a letter to the Star-Gazette. I sent it 3 times, and each time they refused to publish it. So, I have written the editors asking for a reason, but they refuse to answer me.

I copied your letter into Word and it counts 790 words. If you submit an edited version under 500 words, perhaps they would publish it then?

image.thumb.png.85716e8201ef4d231bb1ff31c43ac2d5.png

 

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Posted (edited)

Nope … again its another boondoggle that needs to go! 
50 years ago it was a great place to go to do exactly that , have a good time with friends etc. but now , well, just think of the probabilities not the possibilities . I don’t believe I need to go into details as we all can pretty much imagine said probabilities! 

Edited by Hal

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6 hours ago, command_prompt said:

Let's all drink to that. The sooner, the better. 

Old article.  I believe yet another study is now taking place.

 

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26 minutes ago, KarenK said:

Old article.  I believe yet another study is now taking place.

 

Oh dear. And the purpose of the new study is...? We all know the structure is beyond repair (unless one's a millionaire willing to restore an object that many nostalgic locals associate with their adolescence). Sigh again. 

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There will be a meeting of anyone interested in saving Brand Park Pool today at 5 at the Steele Library in Elmira.

Incidentally, my letter was finally published in the Star-Gazette on May 10, 2024.

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My personal opinion is that the pool itself is unsalvageable but the Walls are . Remove the pool and turn into courtyard 

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I understand the nostalgia part, but this structure is far too gone to be saved. It's been an eyesore for decades, attracting public attention anytime there's a talk about finally getting ready of  the poor thing. Many people who decry its demolishing no longer even live in our area. This has been a repeated cycle for years.

Just put it out of its misery. 

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1 hour ago, command_prompt said:

Just put it out of its misery. 

Amen, and quick before another group comes along thinking they’re the first ( or even third ) to tell us it should be saved.

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2 minutes ago, Chris said:

Amen, and quick before another group comes along thinking they’re the first ( or even third ) to tell us it should be saved.

Agree.  No study is going to make that feasible in any way and they keep forcing them to spend more and more money on yet another study.  Same people losing their minds over have to pay an

increase in taxes for sewer upgrades.  They do realize who will pay for all those studies in the long run.  Don't they?

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6 minutes ago, KarenK said:

They do realize who will pay for all those studies in the long run.  Don't they?

We should make the rich people pay for all that! /sarcasm

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Quote

 

The Committee to Save Brand Park Pool sent a letter Monday to Mandell, City Manager Mike Collins and members of the Elmira City Council, asking the city to apply for funds to repair and reopen the Southside pool, which closed in 2005.

"Our campaign will show that the majority of people in our area strongly value the pool, believe that it is a vital resource for Elmira and especially for the underserved Southside, and support the effort to restore it," the letter stated.

 

Read more here.

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It's interesting, because this comes up about every five years or so. So far it's been someone different leading the charge each time. First was Dan Royle I believe, then there as a Facebook group led by... I forget the name at the moment, but he was on here in the ealry days and now this new group. 

It's not that no one's tried folks, it's that there's not enough real interest in the pool to make restoring it happen. 

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Like a broken record.  They have done every study, gone to the state multiple times and done all kinds of pricing and economic comparisons and the bottom line is that they do not and will not have the money to ever restore it.  MOVE ON.

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Are today's kids even interested in swimming? If you have AC and video games at home, why would you go to a pool? I had an inground swimming pool and couldn't get my kids interested in swimming in it after they were 9 or 10..We filled it in and I am learning about gardening.

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