Camden County Chapter
5425 Rt. 70 West
Pennsauken, New Jersey 08109
February 8, 2011
Danzeisen and Quigley
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034
Attention: Robert Danzeisen; Stephen A. Katz
The Camden County American Red Cross endorses your efforts to create a world
class swimming and training facility in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. As you know, our
organization trains thousands of persons each year in water safety skills starting with
Learn-to-Swim classes and continuing through Lifeguard and Pool Manager training
For many years, we have witnessed the disappearance of appropriate facilities locally
to conduct our training, as the YMCAs closed and other institutions eliminated their
swim facilities. The lack of year-round training space has severely hampered our
efforts to train lifeguards, as most pools do not have the depth needed for advanced
training. We were certainly excited to learn about your plans and look forward to
partnering with you in providing community-based programs when your facility, the
South Jersey Aquatic Center, is completed.
In the 1920s, when the American Red Cross was in its infancy as an organization,
drowning was the number one cause of death in the United States. Through the efforts
of Commodore William Longfellow, the Red Cross added water safety to its list of
priorities and tens of thousands were taught water survival skills and thousands more
were taught to save the lives of those who faced death by drowning. We still have
many challenges in “drown proofing” residents, but together we can make a strong
impact on improving the safety of those who are on or near the water.
Thanks for your efforts in bringing this vital initiative to our community.
Julianne “Camy” Trinidad,
Executive Director, Camden County American Red Cross
To Whom It May Concern (pertaining to the South Jersey Aquatic Center in Cherry Hill):
As the coach of the Cherry Hill High School West girls’ swimming team and the president of the South Jersey Interscholastic Swimming Association, I can not think of a facility that would satisfy a more dire need for the area and one that could be placed more ideally than the proposed South Jersey Aquatic Center at Cherry Hill.
Although our teams at West are traditionally two of the most successful in the South Jersey area, we have been limited to using the Christian Street YMCA in Philadelphia as our sole practice facility for last eight years (we previously used the pool at Camden County College each afternoon but that became unusable nine years ago). Our arrangement requires a half hour bus ride each way (sometimes longer on the way home at 5:15 with the rush hour traffic) and the facility can only offer our two teams four total lanes from 3:30-5:00pm each day. Since our teams typically include approximately forty members, this requires us to leave a substantial number of our teams’ members back at West every other day to use our limited exercise equipment there or we must simply have faith that they can stay fit on their own at home. This is not a unique situation as the limited number of pools in the South Jersey, “Philly `Burb” area have many teams in the SJISA sharing them so that some must start their practices at 5:30am or late in the evening with even fewer lanes at their disposal, certainly not ideal for the student-athletes in those schools.
For competition, our “home pool” is a forty minute bus ride away in Sicklerville at Camden County Tech, a pool that is used by approximately 15 teams for the bulk of our league’s meets. Similar crowded conditions of use exist at the only other pools in the area at Burlington County College and the Gloucester County Institute of Technology, each often creating not just non-optimal but often unsafe conditions over the course of any given season. In short, while only a handful of high schools in the “Shore area” have been built with pools, many others there and essentially every single school in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester county have a desperate need for a centrally-located, multi-faceted facility to meet the needs of their teams.
In addition to the above need, I personally believe it would be utterly impossible to place the facility in a better place when thinking of catering to the needs of the entire region. The facility would be mere seconds off of I-295 and minutes from exit 4 off of the NJTP. Even schools from the “Shore area” as far north as Toms River could reach it via Route 70 while teams from Cape May would find it only 20 minutes from Route 42. Since area leagues and our Association host a variety of meets that require a great deal of deck space and multiple pools for the running of gender-based races at the same time while other swimmers warm-up or warm-down, this facility would perfectly meet the needs of every single championship meet in southern New Jersey that is currently crowded into an inadequate facility. On a personal level, there is a degree of absurdity that hits me every year when people must be turned away from our exciting C.H. East vs. C.H. West meet because the Camden County Tech facility is just too small to hold the number of people that wish to be there.
As a coach at Cherry Hill West, with the advent of the proposed SJAC we also would anticipate greater involvement of swimmers in both our girls and the boys programs. This would logically result in a tremendous amount of improvement individually and team success collectively, with more of our athletes staying in the sport of competitive swimming in an effort to earn college scholarships.
Scott R. Sweeten
Cherry Hill High School West
Science Teacher, Lady Lion
Swimming Coach & SJISA President
Cell: (609) 230-8434
School: (856) 663-8006 Ext. 1924