The indoor swimming pool based in the Weede building has been shut down for at least the rest of the 2021-2022 academic school year.
The pool was shut down for a variety of reasons, ranging from vacancies in positions, the pool’s age and related issues, lack of usage, and overall budget costs.
“On some levels nothing (was wrong with the pool) but we had a whole bunch of things converging at once. The person who operated the pool our aquatics director left to take another job, so we had to consider whether or not we were going to fill that vacancy or not,” said Steve Erwin, vice president of student life.
The pool also had age-related issues. The pool was built with the Weede Garfield building in the 1970s.
“Then we are experiencing problems with it, some of it behind the scenes,” Erwin said. “(The) age of the pool, (the) age of the equipment, (and) age of the infrastructure. The pool itself from a user standpoint wouldn’t notice it, it’s a lot of infrastructure things. So we recognized that we were going to have to spend some money to begin addressing those issues.”
Pool usage was also judged whether it was for instructional purposes and HPPR courses.
“We weren’t getting usage to justify the cost of a coordinator, all the lifeguards, the maintenance it was going to have to happen to it and just the monthly cost for chemicals heating the water, all of those kinds of things didn’t seem to be the right thing to do at this time,” Erwin said.
Fee based areas across campus have run into their own issues as well. With lower enrollment rates, fee-based areas are dealing with budget cuts.
“The pool is funded by student fee dollars through campus recreation. So the money students pay to campus recreation for student fees in part funds the cost of staffing and maintaining the pool. The other thing that they are experiencing as our all-fee collection area is a reduced collection,” said Erwin. “Because of lower enrollment, they are going to have to make some cuts somewhere. To balance the budget. So this seemed to be an opportune area given the low usage and the challenges it faced.”
The pool shutting down forced some students to have one less place to workout.
“I was hoping to use the pool to continue my swim workouts in college (and) not being able to was upsetting,” said freshman in biology Mya Johnson.
The HPPR classes were moved to the local YMCA for instruction. For students who are looking for places to swim, the YMCA is a location.
The pool will remain closed for this year and reopening the pool will be revisited it at a later time.