Pittsfield Family YMCA gets working swim scoreboard from North Adams

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PITTSFIELD — For at least four years, the scoreboard at the Pittsfield Family YMCA has been malfunctioning.

It displayed the times of only two swimmers in the six-lane pool, and even these failed to show in the majority of instances. Swim meets there were compromised for both spectators and participants as a result.

The facility's growing swim team, which currently consists of more than 40 members, needed to do something.

"We were raising money through a parents group trying to replace it," said Cathy Cybulski, swim coach at the facility.

With the estimated cost of $10,000 for a new scoreboard of similar size and function, fundraising would have taken at least another year.

But as it turns out, a perfectly good LED swim scoreboard was sitting unused at the Northern Berkshire branch in North Adams, which no longer is hosting swim meets.

So with the help of Advanced Moving in Lanesborough, that scoreboard recently was dismantled and transported to Pittsfield, where it was reassembled poolside — in plenty of time for the big invitational event the team is hosting Feb. 7.

"When we advertised to have the [invitational] here, we were able to say we have a six-lane touchpad system, and that definitely helped make our case," Cybulski said.

John Levesque of RAM Electrical Services in Adams assembled and wired the scoreboard in two days of time he donated, and the device is now up and running.

The scoreboard, roughly 15 feet across and 8 feet tall, features individual touchpads, which are placed in each lane.

"It's a state-of-the-art scoreboard system that will benefit everyone in our community," said Randy Kinnas, CEO and executive director of the Berkshire YMCAs. "It's installed and was used [Wednesday] night, in fact, to the delight of all the parents and kids there."

The shift was possible thanks to the Pittsfield Family YMCA's recent merger with the North Adams facility. In October, the two YMCA boards voted unanimously in favor of forming the partnership after a year of being interim partners.

Under the new agreement, both boards remained in place, both sites maintained their own names and not a job was lost. And by consolidating membership software and combining liability insurance and payroll, the organization would reduce expenses.

The scoreboard represents additional, unexpected savings.

"We're seeing new opportunities all the time," Kinnas said. "We can recycle things, use them in different areas, and do more we didn't anticipate. Everyone is thinking as one big organization now, and stuff just happens."

Cybulski said the team hopes to use money already raised toward a new scoreboard "to help out Northern Berkshire as a 'thank-you' and buy them some new lanes. We're working together as a team."

Contact Phil Demers at 413-496-6214.


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