St. Matthew’s forced to close indoor pool

Local church cites financial hardship as reason for decision

A staple in the Monroe Township community for the past decade closed recently – at least for the time being.

The indoor pool at the St. Matthew’s Baptist Church recreation center is closed, according to chief administrator Diane Gordon. Says Gordon, “We have been serving the community with a pool and robust aquatics program for the last 12 years.”

The pool, which was used by members of the recreation center and summer campers alike, was shut down due to financial reasons. Gordon stated having to run a dehumidifier around the clock was one of components to an extremely high maintenance cost. She said the church was absorbing the cost for years but has reached a point where it can no longer do it.

“We could no longer continue, unfortunately,” she said. “It was a hard decision, we didn’t want to get to. It was heartbreaking for us to make that decision.”

While the pool is no longer open, Gordon is holding out hope it will re-open one day. She said they are looking at ways to make the pool a more efficient operation. One thing Gordon said the church is looking into is outside ventilation to cut down the dehumidifier usage, thus lowering energy cost.

The pool isn’t the only amenity at the recreation center, though. There is a fitness center that includes cardio and strength-training equipment. Gordon said there are classes for seniors, yoga, line dancing and body sculpting as well. In addition, there are two full-size tennis courts and a place to play Pickleball.

With the pool closed, Gordon said there is no enrollment fee for the recreation center, which is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The monthly fee for the recreation center is $20. Membership is open to everyone, not just St. Matthew’s parishioners. Members can take advantage of as many classes as they want for the $20 monthly fee and can opt out at any time.

Gordon boasts the recreation center as a family oriented community.

“It’s a very uplifting environment to be a part of,” she said.

For more information about the recreation center, visit stmatthewsbc.org/recreation-center/.