Find Inexpensive Gyms with Indoor Pools at NYC Schools

2/12/14 - By Alina Adams

While there are plenty of NYC gyms that offer childcare, an annual membership just doesn't make sense for me. I don't need all the state-of-the-art bells and whistles (not to mention the high costs that come with them) when I just want to swim 20 (fine, 15) laps a few days a week before work. That's why I was thrilled when I discovered that the Trinity School on the Upper West Side allows the public to use its pool during off hours for about half of what membership costs at other local athletic facilities.

It turns out that the Trinity deal isn't unique. There are a number of private schools and colleges throughout New York City that offer gym and pool access to the public for less than what you usually pay at a fitness chain. Some even have kids' classes, too.


Berkeley Carroll School Athletic Center – Park Slope
762 President Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues
This private school's athletic center charges $250 annually for a Community Swim Pass so families can use the four-lane pool on Sunday afternoons. Berkeley Carroll also offers 20-visit Swim Fit Cards that are good at other times, plus swim lessons for kids and adults.

Community Center at Stuyvesant High School – Battery Park City
345 Chambers Street at North End Avenue
Thanks to a joint partnership between the City of New York, Stuyvesant High School and the Battery Park City Authority, everything in this center is open to the public on evenings and weekends when classes aren't in session. Amenities include basketball, handball and volleyball courts, a dance studio, a recently renovated pool and a variety of classes like yoga, tennis, badminton and Zumba. There are a variety of membership options, including gym only, pool only, and gym and pool for individuals and families.

Dwight School Athletic Center – East Harlem
East River Landing Complex, 2116 First Avenue between 108th and109th Streets
In 2013, this Upper West Side private school signed a 20-year lease with an East Harlem development to upgrade its existing athletic facility. The complex is now shared by Dwight's students, the residents and the public. Attractions include a 25-yard, six-lane indoor pool, two rooftop tennis courts, exercise and fitness rooms, a dance studio and a gym. Kids' swim lessons, adult water exercise sessions and other classes like yoga, Zumba and tennis are also available. For prices, call Sunny Anderson at 917-551- 6424 ext. 803 or email

Baruch College Athletics and Recreation Complex – Gramercy Park
55 Lexington Avenue at 24th Street
The public can purchase an annual membership to access the Fitness Center, racquetball courts, saunas and a pool. Facilities are usually open all day but sometimes close for varsity sports or other special events, so check the calendar ahead of time. There's also a summer camp for kids.

The Apex at Lehman College – the Bronx
250 Bedford Park Boulevard West
A reasonably priced membership gives Bronx residents access to the school's facilities including an Olympic-size pool, an indoor track, racquetball and tennis courts, and a fitness center that boasts everything from NordicTrack to elliptical machines to StairMaster. Most of the areas are open for the majority of the day, including during school hours.

College of Staten Island Sports and Recreation Center – Staten Island
2800 Victory Boulevard
The public can buy a membership to use the college's amenities including a pool, racquetball courts, weights and a cardio room. There are also classes in yoga, Zumba, aerobics, step aerobics and body sculpting. While most of the facilities are open all day, lap swims are intermittent. For those wary of long-term commitments, memberships are available in one-, three-, six-month and one-year increments. For info, call 718-982-3161 or

John Jay College Pool and Recreation Center – Midtown West
899 Tenth Avenue at 59th Street
The public has the option of buying separate memberships for the Tennis Court/Racquetball Court, Pool-Unlimited, Pool-25 Visits or the entire rec center. The school does stress that hours may change without notice and that no one under 18 is allowed to use the facility. So this isn't a great option for families, but it is a great deal for moms and dads who want to work out without paying an arm and a leg.

Trinity Swim Club – Upper West Side
The Trinity School, 101 West 91st Street at Columbus Avenue
As long as you don't mind swimming at odd weekday hours and during the weekend, this is a great pool-only deal. The six-lane pool is 25-five-yards long and heated. There are lockers and showers, but don't confuse Trinity for a private club. Bring your own towel and prepare to wash the chlorine off in an open area nearly shoulder to shoulder with your neighbor. It's definitely a no-frills arrangement. But, if a low-cost swim is all you're after, I highly recommend it.

Read out about other indoor pools in NYC or find a gym with childcare.

Places featured in this article:

Community Center at Stuyvesant HS

Baruch College Recreation Center

College of Staten Island Recreation Center

John Jay College Pool and Recreation Center