WINCHESTER - Swim Winchester has a new president but the same mission.
Caroline Shamu took over as president of the non-profit organization this year and provided an update to the Select Board on her group’s progress in getting an aquatic center built in Winchester. They’re currently still working with Issac Sports Group on two phases: Phase I - analysis of design and programming and Phase II - a financial analysis (estimated operating expenses and potential revenue).
Shamu said the main takeaways from a recent feasibility study include the need to construct two pools inside the swim center: a lap pool for training, lessons and recreational use, and a leisure pool for fitness, therapy and family-friendly recreation. The study also mentioned installing a fitness area and community meeting room.
The new president suggested the total cost could run the organization approximately $20M. A financial analysis, ending this fall, shows the aquatic center as self-sustaining by year three through reasonable fees (and discounts for Winchester residents). Swim Winchester plans to fund the entire project through private donations with no money expected from the town.
Shamu said the projected timeline involves getting out an RFP (Request for Proposals) this winter to find an architect and engineering team, followed by further design, engineering analysis, site constructibility, and an environmental analysis. She said funding for these measures already exists.
Swim Winchester continues to converse with stakeholders and neighbors. Next steps include planning a capital campaign and continuing to update the Select Board every six months.
Select Board member Michael Bettencourt appreciated the group’s commitment to providing the board with a status report every six months and also their ongoing talks with neighbors of Skillings Field (where they hope to locate the swim center).