Pool Reopens After Upgrade
By Marie Gaumont and Shelley Martin, Staff Writers
After a 10-month renovation, the two pools at the UNCP Aquatics Center reopened on March 9.
The 43-year-old facility required new tile, grout, drain systems, depth markers, cement, railings, light fixtures, benches and lane lines as well as an updated accessibility lift for handicapped patrons.
Justin Winans, director of campus recreation, said planning and construction cost the university $250,000.
Since its reopening students have been drawn to the Aquatics Center.
Joseph Brawdy, Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity President and member of the ROTC program, said he thoroughly enjoys UNCP's Aquatics Center.
Brawdy said when he heard of the Aquatics Center’s reopening he was a little curious, never having been and was excited about getting to swim.
Brawdy, not currently enrolled in an aquatics class, said he uses the pool merely for lap swimming and trying to perfect a side-stroke technique.
He said he thinks the Aquatics Center is nice, but there are still issues.
“I think they’re still trying to get the pH balance [of chlorine] right after the renovation," Brawdy said.
The Aquatics Center hosts classes in water aerobics, swimming and lifeguard education, in addition to providing space for ROTC's combat water survival training.
In the future, Brawdy said he is interested in possibly attending a lifeguard class.
He also said that if he continues practicing his lap swimming and stroke technique, he’d be eager to join the university's Club Swimming Team.
Assistant Aquatics Director Megan Sanger said that attendance has been outstanding with patronage of the pool estimated to have increased tenfold during open swim hours in the evenings.
Sanger said she hopes the numbers will continue to increase.
"I'm excited about the changes that are coming; the changes that have been made so far. Like everything else [in the athletics department] we're continuing to update. I want kids to come in and utilize the pool -- to put their student fees to good use," Sanger said.
Sanger and Winans said there are more updates to come, including pristine diving boards, diving blocks and lifeguard stands.
Calibration of the chemical and filtration systems continues.
Photo by Shelley Martin. Students swim in the newly renovated aquatics center.