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Pottsgrove Looks For Pool With YMCA Closing

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Pottsgrove High School’s varsity co-ed swimming team has a meet scheduled today (Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017) at 3:45 p.m. against Perkiomen Valley; another one Friday (Dec. 15) against Downingtown East, and five others through mid-February. But the bigger question facing the team, and the Pottsgrove School District, may be: where do its swimmers go from there?

Pottsgrove for years has relied on the non-profit Pottstown YMCA, 724 N. Adams St., and its pools as its swimmers’ training facility. That won’t last much longer. The Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, of which the Pottstown Y is a subsidiary, announced during November the building will close in June 2018. It’s become too costly to maintain, and would require millions of dollars in investment to keep running, it claimed.

In less than eight months then, the district Board of School Directors noted while it met last week (Dec. 5), “the swim team will be displaced.” As of the same meeting, there was little progress to report on finding a substitute facility, directors added.

Superintendent Dr. William Shirk said Athletics Director Gary DeRenzo was “working very hard” to find another facility, and that he, DeRenzo and others were scheduled to meet this week with YMCA representatives to determine how it would proceed, if at all, as a community organization.

“They’re talking about a ‘Y Without Walls,'” Shirk said of Freedom Valley’s plans, but acknowledged, “we don’t yet know what that means.” Members of the board’s Athletics and Co-Curricular Activities Committee said they hoped to receive more information, and possibly get guidance on proceeding, within a few weeks.

Shirk said he also has been told the Pottstown YMCA’s “services before and after school,” on which many families rely during mornings before parents leave for work or after they arrive home in the evenings, “would not be affected” by the building’s closure.

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ Dec. 5 meeting):

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