Mayor Fulop Unveils Impressive Retractable Roof over Pershing Field Pool, Two Decades in the Making
Caps off Major Improvements throughout Pershing Field Park, including Upgrades to Playground, Roller Skating/Ice Rink, Indoor Pool, ADA Standards
JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the City Council will join the Department of Recreation and Youth Development and community members this morning to officially unveil the Pershing Field Pool retractable roof, which is now fully operational after remaining unusable for 20 years.
The indoor pool is located within the 13-acre Pershing Field Memorial Park along Central Avenue in The Heights section of Jersey City. In 2021, Mayor Fulop committed to fixing the retractable roof to increase airflow and enhance swimmers’ experience while utilizing the public pool.
“We’ve invested more in our parks and recreational facilities than any administration in decades. As a result, we’ve seen more and more residents rely on our public facilities to improve their physical and mental health, especially during the pandemic,” said Mayor Fulop. “The retractable roof is a unique feature that we hope will entice even more residents to utilize the pool and other public spaces within Pershing Field and around the city.”
The retractable glass ceiling allows natural sunlight to shine year-round over the 25-meter, 6-lane pool. The roof is not only aesthetically pleasing, but the retractable feature also allows for substantial ventilation for better air quality, which proved critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the improved airflow aids in the preservation of equipment by slowing down the rate of corrosion, a common issue caused by indoor pools.
The Mayor added, “We converted the roof at Pershing Field swimming pool to now be retractable so that we can use it as a better swimming environment in the summer months. We figure more air and open space will only make this pool more enjoyable for residents. This was part of some broad park improvements we have been doing to Pershing Field – the work finished this week.”
The $170,000 in roof reconstruction included the replacement of main cables, fasteners, pulleys, and motors, among other necessary repairs. A new mesh roof was also installed to keep out debris, such as falling leaves.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in engagement in our Recreation and Youth Development programs recently, and we expect to see even more of our residents, from children to seniors, participating in our swimming programs as the retractable roof is a crowd-pleaser,” said Lucinda McLaughlin, Director of the Department of Recreation and Youth Development.
In addition to the retractable roof repairs, the Fulop Administration has made several key investments to significantly improve Pershing Field facilities for the community to enjoy, including:
- 2016 – The administration built a brand new children’s playground with updated equipment as well as park furnishings, fencing, and lighting.
- 2017 – The Pershing Field Roller Skating Rink held its grand opening and continues to serve as a valued extension of Jersey City’s recreation programming.
- 2019 – The Pershing Field Pool reopened to residents and non-residents following extensive renovations for improved safety throughout the building’s locker rooms, offices, and public areas; replaced the filtration system; resurfaced the pool deck; and made necessary updates to bring the pool up to ADA standards.
- 2022 – Construction is underway to upgrade the Pershing Field Roller Skating and Ice Rink, including a new floor to improve safety and functionality for all skating participants.
“We have people coming to the pool seven days a week for swim lessons, exercise, recreation, youth swim teams, and the like,” added Rosemarie Nunez, Administrator of Aquatics and Facilities. “Everyone is excited as the weather warms, and we can open the roof up for a completely different swimming experience.”
Adjacent to the pool is the historic Reservoir 3, where Mayor Fulop has committed to restore and preserve the 14-acre site as part of widespread park improvements utilizing Jersey City’s Open Space Trust Fund. The administration is working closely with neighborhood residents and advocates to create safe public access to the neighborhood jewel.
The Pershing Field Indoor Pool, located along Central Avenue, is open to residents and non-residents seven days a week, all year round. For hours of operation and additional information about the Pershing Field Pool, please visit the JC Rec Desk at jcrec.recdesk.com.
About Pershing Field Park
Pershing Field Memorial Park originally opened in 1922 and was dedicated to commemorating the Jersey City soldiers who died fighting during World War I. The park is named for World War I hero General John J. Pershing, who once recalled using the grounds for military training during the war.
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