Conway pool group needs $50,000 to reach goal

CONWAY — Cash donations have flooded in for the Conway Swimming Pool repairs, putting pool volunteers within $50,000 of the $563,000 fundraising goal.

The Conway Swimming Pool Committee — the private organization of volunteers who have maintained the swimming pool since 1953 without tax dollars — has raised $513,000 in donations out of the total $563,000 estimated construction costs.

If all goes well, pool committee member Craig Warner said, construction will be finished by the end of September.

“The project and fundraising are coming along quite well,” Warner said “We anticipate putting the dam repairs and dredging out for bid in the next couple of weeks.”

The fundraising arm of the pool committee knocked down the donation goal by $37,000 in eight weeks. In late March, the volunteers needed $87,000 more.

So far, Warner said, the pool committee has received positive feedback from several permitting agencies, including the state Department of Dam Safety, Department of Environmental Protection and the US Army Corps of Engineers. But the pool group is still waiting for final permits.

“We are still awaiting the final paperwork but expect permits in place by July,” Warner said. “If all goes well, we’ll be done with construction by the end of September.”

Final permits are the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Environmental Notification Form, the MassDEP 401 Water Quality Certification, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Individual, Wetlands Protection Act Notice of Intent, the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act Project Review, a state dam safety permit and Section 106 Coordination Mass. Historical and Tribes.

The construction time frame is 90 days starting July 1.

It had already been two summers since the pool committee had to close the town’s favorite cool down spot off Whately Road. In the fall of 2010, the pool committee discovered significant bypass and sinkhole issues with the earthen dam that impounds Pumpkin Hollow Brook.

The dam needs to be repaired, the pool needs to be dredged and the beach needs replenishing.

In February, the pool volunteers appealed to the townspeople for fundraising help and money. It had raised some money already with taxpayers’ help, but still needed $193,000 for permitting and repair costs and $235,000 for optional accessibility improvements.

Despite the seemingly insurmountable projects, private donations from the townspeople came pouring in immediately after the February fundraising kickoff. More than 25 percent of households in Conway have donated, leaving only $50,000 left to reach the construction cost goal.

With the townspeople’s blessing, in April, the Selectboard also approved $235,000 from the M&M Germain Trust Fund to pay for accessibility improvements.

Silent auction, concerts

With just $50,000 to go, the pool’s fundraising committee is holding an event on Saturday at the Conway Grammar School with a silent auction that includes such items as Red Sox tickets, a sailboat, paintings, pottery, and jewelry by local artisans, gift certificates.

The auction will be followed by a children’s concert at 3 p.m. by the Conway Grammar School Singers and Mister G, and Belle Amie. At 7 p.m., Abe Loomis, Janet Ryan and the Nields will perform for adults. Tickets will be available at the door for a sliding scale. Suggested price is $5 to $10 for kids and $10 to $20 for adults.

There will also be a bake sale all day. To donate baked goods, contact Risa Sudolsky at 413-369-4781. For more information or to bid online, visit

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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