Dorchester House makes a splash with its new pool

Dot House: Dorchester House President and CEO Walter Ramos is shown, left, with Head Lifeguard Dirk Bovell next to the pool facility which re-opened this week at the Dot House after a $600,000 renovation project. 	Photo by Bill ForryDot House: Dorchester House President and CEO Walter Ramos is shown, left, with Head Lifeguard Dirk Bovell next to the pool facility which re-opened this week at the Dot House after a $600,000 renovation project. Photo by Bill Forry

After a year-long renovation project, the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center has re-opened its swimming pool, just in time to serve hundreds of kids and adults clamoring for a cool-off spot.

The pool renovation project cost Dot House some $600,000 – but President & CEO Walter J. Ramos says it was worth every penny.

“It was a 40-year-old pool, but you look at it now and you’d think it was brand new,” said Ramos. “It’s really part of our history. The pool and fitness center are part of our roots in terms of providing recreational and fitness opportunities for low- and moderate-income kids in the neighborhood. This is a real outlet for many children, especially in the summertime, when they may not have the ability to get to the Cape or to [use] other facilities that have a high cost.”

The pool is also in high demand among the neighborhood’s seniors, who use it in the morning, and adult members of the fitness center, which is a popular and affordable option on Dot Ave. Annual memberships start at $62 for a senior citizen, $75 for youth (16 and under), $155 for a single adult, and $250 for a family of four. The ever-popular open community swim will be available at $3 a session for adults and $1 a session for youth and seniors.

The pool officially opened yesterday (July 9), but the new facility had a “soft opening” last week. The pool remains the same size as before— but boasts all new tiles and deck and finishes. The shower and dressing areas have also been reconfigured to comply with ADA requirements.

The health center is also the host pool and sponsor of the Dorchester House Stingrays, a USA-registered swim team in the New England Swimming LSC. The team is coached by head lifeguard Dirk Bovell and is made up of Boston residents ages 5 to 18.

“Over the past 40 years, the Dorchester House swimming pool has been a significant resource for our community. Generations of families have used the pool to learn to swim, compete in races, stay healthy, and have fun in a safe and affordable place,” said Ramos. “We look forward to continuing that tradition following this renovation.”

Expected hours of operation for the pool are 6:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., Monday – Friday and from 6:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information on the pool and related programming, call 617-740-2234.