Five new recreation programs will be available to area residents at Riverside-Brookfield High School this summer as the result of a burgeoning new partnership blossoming between the high school and the Riverside Department of Parks and Recreation.

Starting June 22, the recreation department will offer two programs at the Riverside-Brookfield High School swimming pool. One of those programs will be swim lessons for kids 6 months-5 years; the second will be a family swim.

Each Wednesday from June 22 to Aug. 10, there will be a half-hour swim lesson session for children 6 months-2 years. Following that will be a 35-minute learn-to-swim session for kids 3-5.

The family swim will follow the swim lessons each Wednesday from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m.

Every Wednesday evening from June 29 to Aug. 17, the recreation department will offer two spinning classes in the high school’s wellness center, one for beginners and another for those who want a bit more intensity.

Finally, on Wednesday nights from July 13 to Aug. 10, the department will offer a 3-on-3 half-court basketball league for adults 21 and over at the high school.

Details on all the programs can be found in the recreation department’s summer brochure online at

It’s a relationship that can trace its origins to last November when the recreation department and a committee of private citizens organized a thank-you event to those who have supported the department’s efforts through the years.

“It was a showcase for our school and it was a big success for them,” said RBHS Athletic Director Art Ostrow. “From that, we kind of started talking about what else we can do.”

The result was this summer’s pilot program of swim lessons, spin classes and basketball.

“They have all the facilities and no staffing, and our facilities are limited,” said Ron Malchiodi, director of Riverside Parks and Recreation. “So we agreed to start exploring this partnership.”

Malchiodi said that the Hullabalooza event last year was an eye-opener for many local families who hadn’t seen the renovated facilities at the high school.

“It was the first time a lot of the residents saw the inside of the facility,” Malchiodi said.

He was particularly interested in obtaining use of the swimming pool to serve younger children and families who aren’t part of the RB Otters swim club or members of the private Riverside Swim Club.

“It addresses the age groups that Otters doesn’t,” said Malchiodi. “And we were able to create a family swim.”

It’s not exactly a formal partnership and both sides are taking a wait-and-see approach to this summer’s programming at the high school.

“Both parties are very interested to see how those work,” Malchiodi said. “My biggest interest is in developing and defining the partnership.”

Ostrow also feels the partnership can benefit the high school.

“I think it’s a great opportunity that we can help them run programs while offering the community the great facilities we have here,” he said.

The high school also stands to gain additional revenue from rental fees if the partnership is successful and expands, although the per-hour rates charged to government entities such as the Riverside recreation department are a bargain.

According to a fee schedule on the high school athletic department’s website, the spin cycle room, for example, costs just $20 an hour, while use of the pool and field house comes at a cost of $15 an hour.

Malchiodi called the partnership with RBHS “one facet of what I’ve coined as our community outreach initiative.” He has also met with parent organizations in Riverside School District 96, asking them for input on the kinds of programming they’d like to see.

“I’ve met with all the PTAs and PTOs with the same purpose in mind,” said Malchiodi. “Are there programs we can provide or ones we can cross-promote?”

One such program the department has discussed taking over at Central School, for example, is the annual “Turn Off the TV Week,” where throughout the week the school brings in people who can offer active alternatives.