Vacant 31-Acre Parcel on Route 151 Considered for Aquatic Facility

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Leonard Johnson, who is on the board of The 300 Committee, a local land preservation group, says 31 acres of vacant land on Route 151 contains an important wildlife corridor and should be preserved as open space.

CCB MEDIA PHOTO
Leonard Johnson, who is on the board of The 300 Committee, a local land preservation group, says 31 acres of vacant land on Route 151 contains an important wildlife corridor and should be preserved as open space.

FALMOUTH – Falmouth Selectman Mary (Pat) Flynn said there have been four failed efforts over more than two decades to build a community pool in Falmouth but the problem was always how to pay for it and where would it go. The second question may now have an answer.

“There has long been a need in this town over the last 20 years to build a pool that would be available to all the residents in town, seniors young people, children, young adults,” Flynn said earlier this week, after a session held to discuss what to do with a long vacant 31-acre parcel on Route 151.

The “visioning” session was held Wednesday night at Falmouth Public Library to ask the community what it wants to see on the 31-acre vacant parcel of land at the intersection of Route 151 and Route 28 in North Falmouth. An aquatic facility was high on the list for those who attended the session.

Flynn said in talking to the leaders of Falmouth Aquatics, the group that wants to bring a pool to Falmouth, the discussion revolved around how the facility would get built.

“We realized that we could do more than just have a swimming pool. We could have other amenities. But the question came up that if we do this, where is it going to go, and then this 31-acre parcel came up on Route 151,” she said.

The property has long been owned by the partners who developed Ballymeade. The town of Falmouth has a right of first refusal on the site, which is just across the exit ramp from Route 28.

Jim Preisig, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist who is chairman of Falmouth Aquatics, gave a presentation at the visioning session.

Preisig said the facility would add another world-class amenity to a town that already has several, including the scientific facilities in Woods Hole and the Falmouth Road Race, considered one of the top running competitions in the world.

But other ideas for the 31 acres that came from the crowd of more than 60 who attended the meeting included a hotel and restaurant, a senior care facility, athletic stadium and fields, and a supermarket.

Leonard Johnson, representing The 300 Committee, the town’s largest land preservation nonprofit, suggested the town purchase the property, which includes a wildlife corridor, to preserve it as open space in perpetuity.

Falmouth Assistant Town Manager Heather Harper said this is the beginning of a process about the 31 acres and there will be at least two other workshops to hear public comment.

The next workshop about the site is expected to be scheduled in August.

Flynn said she felt a lot of good ideas came out of the session, in addition to support for the pool project.

“I think it shows the importance of towns not moving on their own, how important it is to include the people who live here and especially the people who live closest to potential projects, that they have an opportunity to participate in a discussion,” she said.

Comments

  1. mnelson3733 says:

    One they find the where – the how can really be helped by attending a USA Swimming Regional Build a Pool Conference – http://www.usaswimming.org/facilities

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