Thanks to some failed construction negotiations, Rec Cen swimmers will be able to get a few more weeks of laps in before the pool closes for renovations.
Although the Rec Cen pool was originally set to close at the end of the week, squabbles over contracts and scheduling have pushed its closure back till mid-November at the earliest. Jackson Snyder, assistant aquatics director, said the university has yet to sign the paperwork necessary to initiate the construction process.
“We’re looking at Nov. 15,” Snyder said. “[However,] it may be pushed to the first of December.”
Once underway, students and faculty partaking in aquatic classes and recreational swimming will be forced to relocate to Campus Pool, alongside the UCSB swimming and water polo teams. Construction is projected to span over a six-month period, with the pool reopening at the end of spring quarter or beginning of summer session, depending on weather conditions.
The 1.8 million-gallon pool will be drained in order to replace the underwater lights and cement decks, as well as replaster the pool’s surface. Additional upgrades include a water slide, and administrators estimate that a new solar-powered water heating system will lower annual heating costs by $160,000. New thermal pool covers are also projected to cut natural gas use by 80 percent.
Snyder said renovations on the decade-old pool are necessary to ensure the safety of participants.
“It’s falling apart,” Snyder said. “We’re just trying to be safe for everyone coming here.”
Kanya Heng, a fourth-year math and history major, said she is concerned about the availability and schedule of the new alternate location.
“I don’t know what the policy will be for using Campus Pool, if there will even be one,” Heng said. “But I hope something works out because how am I supposed to function without swimming and my favorite, water aerobics?”
Campus Pool, located next to the North Hall bus circle and Associated Students Bikes, underwent renovations last February, receiving new filtration and heating systems, as well as new energy efficient pumps.
According to Snyder, while aquatic courses will be accommodated, recreational swimmers may see restricted pool time.
“When we shut down, all classes will be moved,” Snyder said. “There will just be less time for lap swimming.”
Meanwhile, UCSB swim and water polo teams have reserved Campus Pool for practice Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.