Community Board 7 voted to approve plans for a children’s swim instruction pool to move into a Flushing mall at its Monday, June 15 meeting, 44-1.
“It is 100 percent limited for children,” said Robert Wineman, partner in BHB Group and owner of Flushing’s Goldfish Swim School location, which is set to open in the spring of next year at Tangram Mall, located at 133-27 39 Ave.
Wineman explained that the pool would be accessible strictly for swim lessons, which last approximately one hour, and employs three lifeguards per session. There are four children per one instructor and the pool, which is disability accessible, can accommodate several lessons at once because of its 38-person capacity.
Several board members questioned whether the pool would be open to older members or for lap swimming, but Wineman reiterated the fact that the facility will be strictly for children’s swim instruction. He said, however, that once a month, the pool would be open to nonmembers for a session called “open swim,” that invites community residents to visit the facility in consideration of joining.
Goldfish Swim School is a franchisee, with 118 locations across the country. The Flushing location would be the first in Queens. Other nearby locations include Gowanus, Garden City and Farmingdale.
The applicant also said the Flushing location would replicate the Caribbean theme aesthetics of the other locations, which include equipment and changing huts.
“I’m very familiar with Goldish Swim,” said board member Michael Cheng, whose almost 2-year-old daughter has taken lessons at the Garden City location for over a year. “I think they have a wonderful program. The service is great and I think that for a community like Flushing, it’s small businesses like these that really increase the quality of life, because we don’t have something like this in the heart of Flushing.”
Selma Moses was the only board member to disapprove the plan. She questioned the ratio of instructors to children, but did not provide a reason for her opposition.
The board also voted to approve a change in the bylaws that would give the district manager the authority to make staff changes. Previously, hiring and termination changes required a full board vote.
“That district manager always works with them and they know what’s going on,” said Chairperson Gene Kelty, who said calling for a full board vote was a “burden.” “Every time we had to get together we had to pass a motion, do this and it was kind of annoying because that’s why we as a board hire a district manager.”
The bylaw change allows Community Board 7 District Manager Marilyn McAndrews to select, hire and supervise district office staff members in consultation and with the approval of the board chairperson. If McAndrews desired to terminate a staff member’s position, she would require the approval of the majority of the executive board.
First Vice Chairperson Chuck Apelian mentioned that the executive board had met to unanimously approve the bylaw change, which was authorized by the Office of Management and Budget.
The motion carried with a 43-2 vote.