WILLIAMSTOWN -- Swimmers are once again welcome at the Sand Springs pool.
Monday saw the opening of the Sand Springs Recreational Center (SSRC), a new non-profit at the historic site at 158 Sand Springs Road. The facility will be open 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. seven days a week until Sept. 8.
Jane Patton, a Williamstown resident and Selectwoman serving as interim director of the facility, said response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive during the first day.
"Folks have been coming in at a decent stream," she said Monday afternoon.
During the past week, volunteers were busy prepping the facility for opening. One of the biggest hurdles was filling the full-size swimming pool.
"The water [in the pool] was really low," Patton said. "And it takes a long time to fill a pool. We kind of panicked."
Help came from the Sand Springs Springwater Co., which allowed the SSRC to fill the pool with spring water all weekend. Normally the water would be redirected into runoff, Patton explained, because the water from the spring flows constantly.
The SSRC also received help from Fire Chief Craig Pedercini and Director of Public Works Tim Kaiser.
"The fact that people were being so gracious and helpful was amazing," Patton said.
The site has a long history since the Wampanaug Inn and Bath House was built in 1907. When the property was placed on the market, a group of residents hoping to save the historic site founded a fundraising campaign to raise the $550,000 needed for purchase.
Over 300 people gave donations, ranging from $5 from residents at Sweetwood Assisted Living in Williamstown to a $100,000 donation from SSRC Trustee Josiah Low and his wife, Penny, both of Williamstown.
The newly incorporated non-profit took over the property last Monday, Patton said, and intends to keep membership rates affordable for families.
Williamstown residents Joan Jones and Kathy Hughes were both enjoying the pool Monday with their children.
"We were saying earlier that our summer has just begun, because Sand Springs' pool is open," Hughes said. "I can sit here and chat with my friends, and my kids are completely entertained."
A snack bar with healthy food options, lifeguards and a swim academy will all be staples this summer, Patton said.
Patton said she and other members hope SSRC will become an important "third place" in the community, where people can socialize and even host events.
"You have your home, your workplace, but where's that third place' where you go and mingle with the community and see people?," she said.
For more information about SSRC, the history of the property, and membership rates, visit sandspringspool.org.
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