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Detective Keith L Williams Park

The Daily Plant : Thursday, July 21, 2005

LIBERTY POOL CELEBRATES EXTREME MAKEOVER


photograph by Spencer T Tucker

Yesterday, July 20, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Queens Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, City Council Member Leroy Comrie, District Manager of Community Board 12 Yvonne Reddick, and local children to cut the ribbon on extensive renovations to Liberty Pool in Jamaica, Queens. As the temperature neared 95 degrees, the children joined Commissioner Benepe for a dip in the intermediate-sized pool.

"I’d like to thank Council Member Comrie for funding this extreme makeover at Liberty Pool," said Commissioner Benepe. "Now, citizens of Queens’ most densely populated neighborhood can cool off in style—and children can safely enjoy all our free programs, including free swim lessons, a tot pool, and a deck measuring over 15,000 feet."

The event was a celebration of the $750,000 worth of renovations, but also a salute to the varied free benefits offered at the pool facilities and its home, Detective Keith L. Williams Park. The site offers free swimming lessons, free lunch for children during the summer, and Playground Associate programs. Council Member Comrie also funded a renovation of the park’s adjacent track and installation of a synthetic field, which will be completed by next spring, and the park’s Shape Up program, which offers free fitness classes.

"I’m pleased that the pool has been rehabilitated and safety areas improved so that the community can continue to use it as a vital summer resource," said Council Member Comrie.

Liberty Pool had fallen into disrepair over the past few years, but the reconstruction has brought it back to life. The bathhouse received a new roof and a floor-to-ceiling makeover of its interior, including all-new ceramic tile walls, quarry tile floors, lighting, bathroom fixtures, changing room benches, and shower fixtures and tiles. Exterior brick was stripped of paint and repointed. The main pool received new concrete for its deck and better drainage.

"The difference between before and after is astronomical," said Parks’ Project Manager, John Robilotti. His team managed to finish the work in less than 16 weeks, reopening the pool just in time for the hot summer months.

The Liberty Pool facility, designed in 1969, includes a bathhouse, a large wading pool, a smaller kiddie pool, and an expansive deck that can accommodate over 600 people. A plaque by the bathhouse entrance was dedicated to Thelma Johnson, former Liberty Pool supervisor, on September 24, 1983. It sits in Detective Keith L. Williams Park, which was renamed in 1991 in honor of a Jamaica resident and dedicated police officer who lost his life in the line of duty.

 

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t."

Erica Jong
(born 1942)

 

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