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YMCA dedicates aquatics center to late board member

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With a substantial financial shortfall looming, Maxine Quigg convinced the other Watertown Family YMCA board members to continue to pursue the aquatics and community center that they all had envisioned.

On Tuesday night, KI LaClair remembered how her friend persuaded them not to scale back to a two-lane pool when there was not enough funding to move forward for a larger aquatics center.

About 75 people gathered on Tuesday night in the new aquatics center that features a state-of-the-art six-lane lap pool that now bears Quigg’s name.

Friends, Y board members and community leaders honored her during the dedication in the 10,500-square-foot addition.

LaClair credited her friend for the way she talked board members not to give up on the project that was originally proposed.

“Maxine was not having it,” she said.

She thought it was too important of a project for the Y, downtown and the entire community, LaClair recalled.

Her friend would be proud of the Community and Aquatics center that will open in a few short weeks, she said.

The Y will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 11 for the new $27.5 million facility in the former Woolworth store-turned-call-center at 146 Arsenal St.

It features a six-lane lap pool and adjacent recreational pool, multi-sport courts, an indoor track, a wellness center, classrooms and child watch facilities.

But the dedication was bittersweet.

In 2021, Quigg and her business partner Terence M. O’Brien were shot and killed by a former employee in her Clinton Street real estate office.

She was a successful real estate broker, community and business leader in Jefferson County.

Another friend, Mark Lavarnway, read a letter from Quigg’s husband, Joseph. Her family members could not be there Tuesday night, but they were able to take a private tour of the new facility last week.

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