Winchester Indoor Pool Facility Plans Caught In Red Tape Catch-22

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WINCHESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The struggle continues when it comes to building a new community pool facility in Winchester, Massachusetts.

"You know there is such a need for more swimming pools near Winchester. Community pools, there are very few," said Caroline Shamu, President of Swim Winchester, a non-profit organization that has been trying to get an indoor swimming center built for almost a decade. "This isn’t even the first time, this is the project that’s gotten the farthest. There were many requests for a swimming pool, an in-door pool, in town over the decades. We have broad support from the community."

A corner of Skillings Field next to Winchester High School has already been set aside for a new facility. According to Swim Winchester's website, the plans for the facility include an eight-lane, 25-yard competition pool, a large, warm water recreational pool, bleachers, a fitness space, a multi-person event and meeting room, a welcoming lobby area, and an optional outdoor pool future expansion.

Shamu told WBZ NewsRadio that the total cost of the project "will likely be $28-33 million, and that’s in 2023 dollars."

Unfortunately, any plans to construct the facility have been caught in a red tape Catch-22. In order to raise funding, donors will want to see the proper permits secured, but in order to get the permits, local and state officials have told Swim Winchester that they need to see evidence that the organization can raise the money they need.

"It’s very hard to know how to move forward productively, so we’re trying our best to move forward in parallel," Shamu said.

WBZ's Madison Rogers (@MadisonWBZ) reports.

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