Students taking a dip in the Recreation Center pool may find themselves competing for lanes with the UCSB swim and water polo teams over the next two months.
Student access to the Recreation Center pool will be temporarily limited while repairs are made to Campus Pool, the teams’ usual practice location. The Campus Pool repair project, which began Tuesday, is expected to last until the second week of April. The UCSB swim and water polo teams will hold their practices in some areas of the Recreation Center pool during this two-month period while the filter and pump systems at the almost 70-year-old Campus Pool are replaced.
Several lanes of the Recreation Center pool will be reserved for the teams during their practice times, but the pool will still be open to students during all regular operating hours.
According to Recreation Center Building Manager Blair Hoover, the Recreation Center will not shorten pool-operating hours to accommodate the teams, but will instead reserve less-used sections of the pool such as the diving well for practices.
“There will always be lanes available for students to use,” Hoover said. “The schedule has not changed because of this.”
West Campus Physical Facilities Area Manager Robert Wright said the replacement systems will ensure that Campus Pool is able to meet water filtration requirements and continue operating in case of pump failure.
“We had only one pump and no back up,” Wright said. “The filters are past their useful life, and they’re leaking pretty badly.”
Long-range development plans for the campus include a new pool for intercollegiate teams to replace the aging Campus Pool. Rob Field 4, adjacent to the Recreation Center pool and the Multi-Activity Court, was named as a potential location for the new pool, leading some students to voice concern over the use of recreational space for Intercollegiate Athletic teams.
Wright described the current project as a “major job” essential to the maintenance and continued operation of Campus Pool until a replacement facility is constructed.
“We were running on the very end of a system that was ready to break down,” Wright said. “We’re lucky we kept it limping along as long as we did.”
Hoover said that while ICA is in need of a new pool, he hopes that it does not come at the expense of other students.
“I hope [the ICA teams] get a pool somewhere,” Hoover said. “Personally, I’d rather it not be right next to the Recreation Center. This building is built for all students, and they should be able to use it whenever they want.”
However, Hoover said the Winter Quarter off-season will help minimize the impact of the situation on students looking to take a swim.
“Luckily, this is a slow time period,” Hoover said. “There are fewer people in the pool in general right now.”