No Marco, no Polo
NCCU pool looking good, but where are the swimmers?
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 13:10
That is what Thornton Draper, associate professor and aquatics director, said it will take to prevent another shutdown of the N.C. Central University swimming pool.
“Maintenance, because the biggest problem the facility has had is lack of money to maintain the facility,” Draper said. “That’s the problem we have all over campus.”
Virginia Politano, physical education and recreation professor and chair, agrees.
For 12 years she said she requested maintenance funds for the University’s swimming pool but her requests were never answered.
“This year we got support from the administration,” Politano said. “Students complained. When students complain things get done. When I complain nothing happens.”
According to Politano, Facilities Management has come up with $60,000 for this year’s supplies and maintenance. The pool now has a $2,000 service contract covered in the budget that she hopes will help continue to maintain the pool for the future.
For three years, students waited for the NCCU Olympic-sized (50 meters) swimming pool to reopen since repairs closed it down in 2009.
The pool reopened in June.
However, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation and Facilities supervisor, Willie Thomas says nobody uses it during the free time.
The pool’s hours are 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Thomas, one of the pool operators, said he’ll see about two people on average come to the swimming pool in the morning and very few in the evening.
“If this was a white school, we’d have way more people coming to the pool,” Thomas said.
“We could get more out of that pool if we rent it out to swim teams, but the school is primarily for the students. They don’t use it.”
He said there are six life guards getting paid $10 an hour to watch water. Thomas thinks it has to do with students fear of swimming.
Next semester Politano says the department plans to implement water safety classes to train students to become life guards.
Campus recreation does offer a free water aerobics class on Tuesday and Thursday which Thomas says mostly faculty use.