First new pool in 30 years City Council views designs for $3.7M rec complex

Jersey City’s first new pool in 30 years is slated to open in June of next year.

The city’s head architect, Glen Wrigley, presented designs at Monday’s City Council caucus for two new pools – one for competitions and one for family activities. The Lafayette Pool Complex also will include a basketball court and parking spaces for staff. It will be built in the city’s Ercel Webb Park, located in the city’s Bergen-Lafayette section.

The pool had been promised to residents living near the park since the park itself opened in July 2004.

The designs for the Lafayette Pool Complex were not on the council’s agenda, but were presented as a sneak peek to the council. Wrigley said after the meeting that there could be a groundbreaking for the project sometime between late December and early January.

Site work is already taking place on the section of the park where the complex will be built.

City Councilman Viola Richardson, who represents the ward where the park is located, was not present for the portion of the caucus when the designs were discussed, but had already seen the designs and approved of the proposed project.

“I saw what they wanted to put in there, and I didn’t have a problem,” Richardson said. “I have been crying about how long it has taken for this pool to be built, because the children and the parents living in the area have wanted it for so long.”

There are 13 public pools in the city. According to Wrigley, the last pool built was the indoor pool at Pershing Field on Summit Avenue in the late 1970s. That pool is the only one open year-round.New auditoriums

Pasquale Avallone of RSC Architects in Cliffside Park also spoke about the project on Monday. RSC is the design firm commissioned for the pool project.

Avallone pointed out that the pool will have no diving boards, just removable starting blocks, for safety purposes. He also said the basketball court will have an asphalt surface. Also, the complex will contain lockers and a changing area.

City Councilman Michael Sottolano suggested that the basketball surface should be rubberized to ensure against injuries.

The city’s business administrator, Brian O’Reilly, said the state will provide some funding for the project.

Councilmen Sottolano and Peter Brennan also mentioned concerns about the city having enough staff for security of the facility.

O’Reilly said wireless closed-circuit cameras could be placed in the park for security purposes. He also said the basketball court will be separated by fencing from the pool, and the court will have its own entrance.

Wrigley also said the pool will be opened only for three months during the summer, and the city will hire employees to staff the pool. Comments on the story can be sent to


© 2000, Newspaper Media Group