Pool renovation gives swimmers options

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While renovations at the SVSU Aquatic Center have kept its doors closed longer than originally planned, the facility will soon be re-opening to welcome back its pool users.

Renovations at the Aquatic Center began Aug. 1 and are expected to be finished Monday, Aug. 29.

The biggest change to the facility will be the re-furbished bulk head. The bulk head is the bridge that moves across the pool allowing varied lane length, depending on the desired distance of specific races.

Prior to renovations the bulk head was in bad shape. According to Megan Baldwin, SVSU’s aquatic director, the old bulk head had not even been mobile for years.

There will also be a new timing system, lane lines, starting blocks, as well as new lighting. These factors will not only improve pool usage, but will also allow SVSU to be fully equipped to host swim meets.

Baldwin estimates it has been at least 10 years since the aquatic center has been able to host a swim meet. She said that she believed that previous to these renovations the pool was under-utilized and the time has come for the pool to host swim meets.

Now, she said that she hopes that the new additions will improve overall pool visibility, attract visitors to sign up for swim lessons, as well as potentially recruit new students to SVSU.

The overall budget for the pool renovations is $367,000. Matching funds have been donated to the project by the Gerstacker Foundation.

Colin Coulter, a senior education major, has seen these changes first hand. Coulter is a Ryder Center employee and has spent some time over the past few weeks helping clean the newly renovated pool.

“From what I’ve seen the renovations are really nice,” he said.

Coulter has done numerous pool workouts previous to the project beginning and believes that the renovations were much needed.

Working at the Ryder Center has also allowed him to witness numerous pool activities including collegiate diving, scuba diving instruction and children’s events.

“I think it’s great that we have such a nice facility available for various water activities, I am very excited to see the finished product,” he said.

Brittany Case, a third year occupational therapy major, uses the pool as a workout facility. She doesn’t see a strong need for all the renovations since SVSU does not have a swim team, but still looks forward to seeing the overall changes to the pool.

Case is also interested in the upcoming swim meets.

“I watch swimming on TV, so I would probably stop by a swim meet,” she said.

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