Mayor Nicole LaChapelle (left), Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Andrew Hunter (middle) and Easthampton Parks and Recreation Director John Mason (right) cut the ribbon in celebration of new improvements to the Nonotuck Park community pool.
Reminder Publishing photo by Ryan Feyre

EASTHAMPTON — Just a few days after the first official heat wave of the summer hit the books, Nonotuck Park welcomed some much-needed refurbishments to one of its most cherished amenities.

On June 24, the public, city officials and Park and Recreation staff and commission members gathered at Nonotuck Park to celebrate what many from the city describe as necessary improvements to the park’s oft-heralded community pool.

“It’s been a project that’s been a long time coming,” said Easthampton Parks and Recreation Director John Mason during the ribbon cutting ceremony in front of a small gathering inside the pool area.

The pool, which was built in the early 1960s, endured a lot of different renovations, according to Mason; including brand new concrete decking, new liner, new skimmer, new filtration system, new lifeguard chairs and new ADA-accessible access points.

The improvements also included new crosswalks, new shade structures around the pool area and an ADA-accessible pathway that connects into the park’s bathrooms.

“We wanted to make sure that when we did it, we did it right,” Mason said of the renovations. “We’re very pleased with what we accomplished.”

During his remarks to the public, Mason also touched on the generational impact the pool has the city, citing a tangible excitement from community members who personally approached him with jubilation about the revamp to a cherished resource.

“This pool project really brought the community together because the new generation and the old generation that’s been around really appreciate what the pool means to the community,” he said.

In an interview with Reminder Publishing, Mason said that the total cost of the pool improvements was around $1.3 million, paid for by Community Preservation Act money, capital money from the mayor and a state sanctioned Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities Grant of $400,000.

Mason added that once Parks and Recreation received the PARC grant, they had two years to complete the project. The first year was spent planning and designing, and then the city spent the second year constructing the improvements. Everything had to be completed by June 1 of this year, according to Mason.

“This meeting and this project, it was a long path to get here,” said Mayor Nicole LaChapelle during the ribbon cutting ceremony. “Thank you to the [Parks and Recreation] members now and in the past.”

According to the city’s website, the pool will be open from Tuesday through Friday from 2-7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Fees for the pool can also be viewed at easthamptonma.gov/758/Nonotuck-Park-Community-Pool.

Spray park improvements

The city also announced incoming upgrades to the spray park/cooling center that sits adjacent to the pool. Mason said that the park’s water filtration system needs to be redone and a better non-slip surface will be implemented. Other additional features will also be added to the area.

Mason said that he is currently putting in for a PARC grant of $500,000 to help fund that project. The spray park, according to the city, has been around for 25 years.

“It still runs pretty efficiently, but we need improvements to the filtration system to make sure that we’re properly recycling water,” Mason said of those improvements.

The city is also looking at other improvements to the park for the future involving ADA-accessible features.