Report on Status of Lake Thoreau Pool

By Barbara Khan

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The first public meeting to report on issues relating to Lake Thoreau Pool and to obtain feedback about desired features was held on February 11. If you want to share your suggestions, either email the Board or keep your eyes open for an announcement about the next meeting. For more information, see

A representative from Kimley-Horn, the company retained to provide engineering and landscape architecture services, provided the following report about the current status and considerations for redesign of pool:
  1. Site/Elevation – 
    • The 20-foot drop in elevation in the pool area requires four levels and retaining walls.  
    • The pool is now in a Resource Protection Area (RPA), which means we can’t build any closer to the lake and can’t increase the impervious pool decking area by more than 10%.
    • The south side of the site has retaining walls that encroach on the private property of Winterport (the walkway to their boat dock). 
  2. Access concerns – 
    • The spa has steps to get to it, which is not good for ADA.
    • The building has narrow halls and many right-angle turns, which is also not good for ADA.
    • Access to the grassy area for lawn mowing is difficult, with no option except to walk equipment all the way through the pool area.
  3. Storm water/views -
    • Currently two paths exist for water to get from the pool area to the lake, and the new design needs to consider paths of water runoff to the lake.
    • Views of the lake and the amount of sun reaching the pool area need to be considered. Over the years, trees have grown so the view is obstructed and less sun shines on the pool.
  4. Utilities – 
    • The placement of existing electric transformers, drain inlets, and sanitary power easements must be considered.

After the presentation, the audience was split into five groups to make lists of features they would like for a new pool. Each participant was then asked to indicate his/her top three choices within the list the group developed. There was no review of all the teams’ comments so there was no voting across teams, and there were differences in opinions across teams. The following is a list of some of the suggestions:
  1. Be practical; don’t ask for too much or we may not get any pool.
  2. Leave the trees as they are; we don’t need a view and we like the shade.
  3. Make the children’s pool smaller; alternatively, eliminate the children’s pool.
  4. Take out the spa; make the spa more appealing.
  5. Incorporate art (like mosaics in the pool tiles)
  6. Install a smoothie machine so more teenagers are interested in coming to the pool.
  7. Add lights for night swimming.
  8. Heat the pool; don’t heat the pool.
  9. Eliminate the lawn because no one ever picnics there.
  10. Make sure to have plenty of lap lanes for swimming.

1 comment:

  1. Great list. I attended the session as well and agree there was a serious loss of value in not voting across the ideas presented as well as no plan in place for soliciting input from other demographics such as age groups unless the demographic was present in the room. The budget also does not allow for much change.