The Petersen Pool Advocates is a Braintree-based citizens group. We are comprised of Braintree High School (BHS) Swim and Dive Team athletes, their families, neighbors and friends who are troubled by the failed promises surrounding the construction of the August and Sadie Petersen Memorial Pool on the campus of Braintree High School. In the fall of 2018, senior Town officials invited the BHS Swim and Dive Team to a ground breaking ceremony to announce the long awaited construction of the Petersen Memorial Pool. The pool was supposed to be built for the benefit of the children of Braintree in memory of the late tugboat Captain August J. Petersen and his wife, Sadie. Sadly, by January 2021, more than $1.5 Million of the Petersen Trust Fund has been depleted for site design and engineering plans, with no actual swimming pool built. In fact, all that currently exists at the Braintree High School swimming pool site is mud filled lagoons with no actual interior design plans on file. Moreover, the input of the BHS Swim and Dive Team has not been sought for ensuring that the pool actually meets the Team's requirements for competitive swim and dive. In response, the Petersen Pool Advocates was organized to provide our Town officials and the citizens of Braintree with sound information about the actual NFHS standards required for a regulation qualifying swimming pool which meets not only our athletes' needs for competition, but provides our community with a safe swimming facility. The Petersen Pool Advocates believe that the only true way to honor the late Captain August Petersen and his wife, Sadie, is the construction of a quality town swimming pool that meets NFHS standards. Join us!
The Petersen Pool Advocates are committed to the construction of a National Federation of High School (NFHS) quality swimming pool which will permit the Braintree High School Swim and Dive Team to practice and compete in their home town. Specifically, a NFHS-approved swimming pool will result in a swimming pool that has:
-- 10 swimming lanes
--one-meter diving board
--10 diving blocks located at the deep end
--4 ft through 12-ft sloping floor depth
--60 feet wide by 82 feet long pool
--Electronic scorekeeping equipment with touch pads
--Seating for spectators
--Boys' and girls" locker rooms
With a swimming pool located for the first time in the Town of Braintree, the Braintree High School Swim & Dive Team will no longer have to leave Braintree to access NFHS-quality swimming pools in other communities, such as Canton and Randolph. With a safe and appropriate pool in Braintree, the Town will no longer have to rent or pay access fees for swimming pool facilities in other communities, such as Wellesley. Consistent with Captain Petersen's wishes, the entire community of Braintree will have a quality swimming pool that meets the needs of all our citizens.
Captain August J. Petersen was a tugboat master who plied the waters off of East Braintree. In his Will, Captain Petersen's left approximately $65,000 in a restricted, testamentary charitable trust for the Town of Braintree to construct and operate a swimming pool for the benefit of the citizens of Braintree. Further, Captain Petersen wisely required in his trust that use of the Petersen Trust Fund monies could only occur if financing for the swimming pool was identified.
Between the time of the Captain's 1963 death and 2010, the Petersen Trust Fund monies grew to about $2.1 Million. In 2013, the Town of Braintree authorized the expenditure of $393,000 for the construction of seasonal splash pad at Watson's Park in East Braintree. In 2015, Braintree pursued plans for the construction of an athletic complex at the Braintree High School campus, whereby the developer would locate the financing while the town provided the land and infrastructure funding from the Petersen Trust Fund. While the scope of the athletic complex has gone through variations, the current athletic building is intended to hold multiple ice rinks, a synthetic turf field and a "Junior Olympic" (not NFHS standard) swimming pool. To date and contrary to Captain Petersen's clear instructions, the Town of Braintree has expended about $1.5 Million from the Petersen Trust Fund on generalized engineering plans and site work for an athletic complex. Aside from a vastly depleted trust fund, no swimming pool has been designed or constructed. As of December 2020, the Town of Braintree has no completion date for the construction of the Petersen Memorial Pool. What would Captain Petersen and Sadie say about the use of the Petersen Trust Fund monies?
Sign up to hear from the Petersen Pool Advocates about news, updates and events concerning our efforts to support the construction of a NFHS-quality community swimming pool for the benefit of our Braintree Swim and Dive athletes, as well as our community stakeholders.