Closing Pool Maroons Mom

State Spending Cut Makes Property Surplus

For 30 years, the Connecticut Department of Education has spent thousands of dollars a year maintaining an indoor pool in Groton at an otherwise closed school for the deaf.   People  will have to swim somewhere else after Sept. 30, when the pool is set to close.

"It's basically one of our only outlets," said Diane Shonebarger, holding her 16-month-old son on her shoulder.   Together, they take "mommy and me" classes at the pool through the Groton Parks and Recreation Department.

"I'm a military mother," she said. "I don't know a lot of people in the area.  So it's my way of getting out to meet other moms and socializing him, because I'm a stay at home Mom."

The pool is at the Mystic Education Center, once called the Mystic Oral School for the Deaf.  The state government dedicated the pool in 1977 and by 1980, it had sent all the students to other programs.

Town officials in Groton have lined up the pool at UConn Avery Point as a short-term replacement on weekends, said Doug Ackerman, the director of parks and recreation.  Town council members are to discuss what to do with the pool and the rest of the property at a meeting Tuesday night.

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