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Open Swim Program Approved for January


KENT—During its Monday night meeting the Park & Rec Commission decided to initiate a trial “open swim” program for adults.

Under the program, the town would rent space at the Kent School pool one morning a week for eight weeks, with the option of extending for another four weeks if the program proves popular. The number of participants would be capped at 20 and they would each pay $40 a month for the privilege.

A community swimming pool has been on the town’s check list of desired amenities.

Commission member Abigail Smith Hanby introduced the idea to the commission, noting that the commission already has fully subscribed programs for those learning to swim and seniors. “To have an open swim session once or twice a week in the morning, open to all adults, would be incredible,” she said. 

Departing Recreation Director Jared Kuczenski said the cost of the program was his concern. “I could see it running a large deficit before it gets established,” he said. Kent School charges $250 an hour for use of its pool. 

But, he observed, “We have programs for children and seniors. The adult population is the most underserved.”

He suggested starting with one hour a week on a mid-week morning “before we over-commit ourselves.” He said the other pool programs require an instructor and usually run for six weeks but adult open swimming is “different in nature” and could run longer. 

“A month would be too short,” he said. “It would be tough for people to get in the groove and spread the word. Three months would be great, but you would have to be willing to accept the loss. Not every program has to make money, but later on you would have to decide what you will do.”

In the end, the commission decided to try the pilot program, starting in January.

Kathryn Boughton
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    November 26, 2023 at 9:03 am

    I think it’s a great idea. Has Park and Rec considered charging a slightly higher fee for people who come from Warren, Sherman, Cornwall etc. I think the current program for seniors has some out of towners, and while they are more than welcome, if the program represents a significant cost to P&R and to Kent taxpayers, it would seem to be a fair practice. Public schools and colleges do that to help balance the budget.

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