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Petersen Pool Complex Moving Along With Two Final Bidders

Mayor Sullivan said he hopes to see the athletic complex at Braintree High School built in 2013.

The town will soon select a company to design, build and operate a pool and ice rink at Braintree High School now that two qualified bidders for the project have been identified.

A selection committee will examine the proposals over the next few weeks and choose a firm around Thanksgiving, Mayor Joseph Sullivan told the School Committee earlier this week.

Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation last November allowing Braintree to use a "design-build" approach, potentially saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars by having one firm involved in all stages of the project.

Under a 30 to 50-year contract the town will retain ownership of the land at BHS, between the football field and Granite Street, and will be able to take over or re-bid the property if the operator doesn't comply with the terms. The plan is for an indoor pool and ice rink that will have public skate times as well as availability for local teams.

Selection committee members include Town Councilor Tom Bowes, School Committee member Tom Devin and others from the community.

"It has been a long saga and we've made some progress," Sullivan said.

The Petersen Pool complex, as its known, has been decades in the making. In the years since tugboat Capt. August Julius Petersen died in 1963 and gave Braintree $65,000 for a pool at Watson Park, the funds grew to nearly $2 million and town officials fought to allow the pool to be placed elsewhere after some neighborhood residents criticized the original location.

Two years ago, Sullivan proposed placing the pool at the high school, partnering with a private company and adding an ice rink as well. Braintree will contribute $1.5 million from the Petersen fund, and the company is expected to make an initial investment of $8 million to $10 million.

The remaining Petersen money was earmarked for improvements at Watson Park, including a splash pad, parking and revamped walking trails.

If all goes well, Sullivan said, the athletic complex will be in place sometime in 2013.

Donna October 17, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Come on Just Build the Pool. Maybe that guy that owns half of Braintree can help out and make it a YMCA.
Robert Kearns October 17, 2012 at 07:01 PM
The YMCA in Quincy is building a new building as we speak FYI.
G October 17, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I hope the selection committee does right by the Braintree hockey programs and demands certain things. The varsity high school teams need their own locker rooms like the other successful programs have. They should not have to drag their equipment to and from the rink if they have a rink on campus. This will go a long way towards keeping our best players at Braintree High. The rink needs to have a decent amount of stands to make it a good atmosphere for high school games. They need to give Braintree Youth Hockey, one of the largest youth programs in the state a decent deal on ice time and preferential times. i actually could care less about the pool.
Robert Kearns October 17, 2012 at 08:00 PM
The pool was supposed to be for my Mom's generation, I think that the Ice Hockey Rink is a good addition because Braintree needs a pool and ice hockey rink. The High School is a good location with its good parking and large amount of land.
John Alden October 21, 2012 at 06:16 AM
Lets get this done! It will be a wonderful addition for Braintree students that will be starting for the 2013/2014 year! Speaking of the High School I was impressed with the renovations. Not sure what has changed, maybe new paint - but the school is looking good.

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