‘I Have To Say It’s Disgusting’: Town Committee Member Slams Waveny Pool Locker Rooms


The locker rooms at Waveny Pool are dirty, smelly and stuffy, and some of those who use the popular facility end up elsewhere as a result, a member of a town-appointed committee said Thursday.

Their poor condition “has been brought up before,” according to Christa Kenin, a member of the Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee.

“I have tons – having spent the last six summers there, pretty much every single day—have a lot of knowledge on this matter, and there is a general great dissatisfaction with the locker rooms,” Kenin said during the public meeting—the committee’s first in three months—held at Town Hall.

“I have to say it’s disgusting,” she said during the two-hour meeting. “I hate to use that word. But that is the word I hear.”

Kenin added: “The public feedback I get over and over and over again—other than ‘It is disgusting, that is why I am joining the Field Club’—is specific” and includes complaints about ventilation and lack of privacy in toilet stalls and changing areas.

A Town Councilman, Kenin made the comments as a member of a committee charged with studying publicly owned buildings in New Canaan and reporting back to the town, with an eye on figuring out what to invest in, what to sell or otherwise offload, or what to raze.

It wasn’t clear just how Kenin’s specific comments related to the central mission of the committee.

Co-chair Amy Murphy Carroll said she has used Waveny Pool as a swimmer and “I do not think it’s that bad.”

“Could it be nicer? It is an outdoor pool,” Carroll said.

She added: ”Is it basic? I think it’s basic.”

Kenin asked whether Carroll had been at the facility “at four o’clock in the afternoon?”

Caroll responded: “That is cleaning issue. That’s not a structural issue.”

The envy of neighboring Darien, Waveny Pool generally is considered one of New Canaan’s great successes. Guided by the Parks & Recreation Commission and overseen by Recreation Director Steve Benko, the self-sustaining facility regularly makes improvements to benefit those who purchase passes. Kenin noted that the pool itself has received improvements such as a new coating and water heater.

During the meeting, the committee also provided updates on members’ studies of the fire house, police department, Nature Center buildings, Vine Cottage and paddle hut at Waveny.

Committee member Martin Skrelunas said the group for its report to the Town Council would be better off framing its findings as “options” for New Canaan rather than “recommendations.”

14 thoughts on “‘I Have To Say It’s Disgusting’: Town Committee Member Slams Waveny Pool Locker Rooms

  1. Isn’t this the town official that voted against opening the pool to non-residents in order to balance its budget?? Political grandstanding again by her.

  2. Best of luck at the Field Club, Christa. Figured it was a matter of time before you left the town pool after your awful petition failed to keep out of towners out. Not sure you needed to make your choice so public. Waveny pool is beautiful and the locker rooms are certainly not disgusting.

    • WOW. You must known Christa really well to know she is changing to the field club. Because no where in the article does it state that she won’t be joining the pool next year.
      It’s her responsibility to report back what others have told her. If you don’t agree with her comments perhaps you can provide a constructive comment about your feelings rather than shooting the messenger

  3. NO HEAT.
    Everyone who used the pool knows this.

    They didn’t turn on the heat for most of the summer and the water was COLD, COLD, COLD.

    We’d go there and see our kids and tons of others just standing around and the pool empty.

    Why spend all this money to put in a new heating system and then you hardly even turn it on?

    Will you please turn on the heat??

    • This is because the pool becomes over 90 degrees in mid-july. If you heat it in May the pool would boil over at a great cost to the town.

  4. Kiwanis Park/Beach is in far worse condition than Waveny Pool.
    Broken umbrellas for life guards, no umbrellas on the beach, filthy beach chairs (hand-me-downs), no ice this year (however, the ice machine was finally repaired in September), concession stand that is not open during posted hours, pitted sink faucets in the bathroom, mowing/brush removal not done on a regular basis, outside shower/foot shower that cannot be turned on easily, ankle to knee-high grass growing throughout the playground, pavers in the playground that are so uneven that they pose a tripping issue, and, of course, the facilities used by our campers need work.
    I suggested selling out-of-town beach permits back when this feature was added to the Waveny Pool in order to generate income but nothing happened.

  5. I have been to the Waveny Pool everyday all summer and have found nothing like the comments made above. The doors on the stalls all close. The curtains on the shower stall were all new. Occasionally you will find someone has not flushed or a piece of toilet paper on the floor. But in general they are clean. (even when I go at 4 pm). I have to say they are and have been doing a great job at the pool.

  6. Couple of quick comments.

    Betty: As you probably know, your concerns about facilities at Kiwanis Park rightly should be lodged with the Parks & Recreation Commission, not the Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee. As Amy Murphy Carroll noted during yesterday’s blessedly public meeting, the committee’s study involves rather more substantial questions of structural integrity and use of town-owned buildings. Some on the committee tried to draw a line between the physical buildings and rather specific individual complaints about the pool’s facilities during this meeting, but I didn’t feel they rose to the level of reporting a news story.

    Second, in defense of Kenin, I will note that she herself made no threat or promise to abandon Waveny Pool for a private club in town. Rather, as the committee member who signed up to handle Waveny Pool, she said that she is reporting back on things that others have told her.

  7. I used the pool almost everyday during this past summer and always found the men’s locker room clean. It’s a typical Fairfield County swim club bathroom – hot and sticky with little ventilation. It’s not the Ritz Carlton nor should anyone expect it to be. Waveny Pool is great asset for New Canaan.

  8. As chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission and a regular pool attendee I take strong exception to the comments that the locker rooms are disgusting and that the pool is cold. Both my husband and I swam at the Waveny pool countless times this summer. The pool and locker rooms were always extremely clean. The pool temperature excepting at the opening was never below 80 degrees. Not once did I see kids and adults standing around because it was too cold.

    Four years ago our Commission committed to upgrade and improve the Waveny Pool. We met numerous times with pool passholders and made improvements based on their feedback.
    The locker rooms are now cleaned twice daily, new shower curtains are installed monthly, new umbrellas and chairs and been added, the interior of the pool was refurbished and a heater was added.

    Waveny Pool is a tremendous asset to the the town. The staff is always helpful and pleasant.
    I encourage anyone who has suggestions for improvements to contact myself or the Recreation Department. Voicing complaints on a public website is not constructive and is divisive.

  9. To clarify something asserted in this thread: I’m told that the petition regarding nonresidents at Waveny Pool was not the sole creation of Christa Kenin but came collectively from a group of about 10 local women who felt snubbed at the time the nonresident passes were sold that their points of view were not taken into consideration prior to the decision to issue them. The petition itself, which lingers here online, became a sore spot for many in town at the time it was created. For anyone interested in digging back into this, I would suggest you read these minutes from the Sept. 11, 2013 Parks & Recreation Commission meeting. You will see that although Kenin, and another local woman, represented the “Friends of Waveny Pool” group to the commission at the time the petition was discussed, there’s nothing in the record there to say that it was her creation alone.

  10. Not true. Shrieking headline does not in any way reflect the Waveny public pool experience. The article is an embarrassing reflection of belittling a NC privilege, a unfair comment on a jewel in our community, a unreasonable comparison btwn a public and private pool ‘option’, and an over-hype of heresy. Think last season was the best managed on record, the facility delivered what is meant to. Better would have been to survey users, and better still would have been for Newcanaanite.com to keep this non event of an overexcited town rep in context!

    • Martin, it’s true I’m a lousy headline-writer. Never been good at it. Even so, we can only report what is said at these public meetings. This is an elected official reporting back to an important town-appointed committee at a public meeting on what she’s hearing from Waveny Pool users. That’s what she said. Am I supposed to ignore it, as a reporter who covers the town?

      • Maybe these two points from your aricle are overall the more relevant for New Canaan: 1/”The envy of neighboring Darien, Waveny Pool”. 2/”It wasn’t clear just how Kenin’s specific comments related to the central mission of the committee.”

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