The former pool in downtown Easton is being demolished and turned into classes – The Morning Call

When workers demolished a 1950s swimming pool in the Third Street Alliance for Women & Children building on Monday afternoon in Istana, children held plastic hammers and knocked down cardboard bricks, symbolizing “robbery” nearby.

Dust, rubble, and warning tape around the old pool marked the beginning of a $ 2 million expansion called the Pool-to-School Project, which will provide nearly 30% more classroom space to serve additional families.

And space is needed. Day care received a blow during a pandemic. Some closed and many have not yet returned to full capacity.

This includes the Third Street Alliance, whose programs include teaching preschoolers.

“We are close to that [full capacity]”- said the executive director of the agency Alice Baratta. “We’re still recruiting teachers.”

In December, Baratta said, extra classroom space would allow the agency to serve up to 40 additional children. The agency enrolls about 60 children ages 3 and 4 in its preschool program, Baratta said. It accommodates up to 160 children from 6 weeks to sixth graders. It will also provide seven new jobs for nonprofit employees with 40 employees.

The Circle Pool was decommissioned in 2012 due to rising costs associated with maintaining the aging system, as well as due to problems with compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was built in 1955 in addition to the original building, built by William Simon, a wealthy mill owner, more than 50 years ago in the first quarter of North Third Street.

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“We are happy that this space can now be rethought in a way that allows us to continue to educate and enrich the lives of children in our community,” Baratta said during Monday afternoon’s event.

According to her, the project was planned and developed for about three years.

The expansion is funded from a variety of sources, including government grants and private donations. Istana City Council earlier this month approved $ 150,000 for a bill from the U.S. Federal Rescue Plans Act. Other public money comes from Northampton County and Easton School District, agency officials said.

But according to Baratta, the Third Street Alliance has collected less than 40% of the project’s total needs. Anyone interested in donating can write to Beth Archer, Director of Development, at

The contractor is Boyle Construction of South Whitehall Township, and Bethlehem’s Alloy5 Architecture has designed the space for the agency’s training center.

The Third Street Alliance, which employs 40 people, also provides services to homeless women and families.

You can contact Morning Call journalist Anthony Solomon at

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