Desperately Seeking Swimming

With Closure of Spieker Pool, Campus
Swimmers Weigh Their Options

by Cathy Cockrell

With the long-planned construction of Haas Pavilion finally underway and the closure of Spieker Pool Sept. 22, the campus's recreational swimmers are thinking about when, and at which campus pool, to execute their strokes.

Based on locker room talk, the joy of swimming is now filled with frustration. For some, the closing of Spieker means noon-time swimming is out. Among those who have already commited to a full-year membership, there's a fair amount of anger.

Campus recreation officials say they are willing to discuss options, on a case-by-case basis, with any Recreational Sports Facility member whose needs are not met by the new pool schedules.

Recreational lap swimmers share the pools with many other users, including the physical education program, women's water polo and the women's and men's swim teams.

"The fortunate thing," says Katharine Andrews, director of Campus Recreation, "is that we have four other pools." Recreational swim hours have been extended at all of them.

Hearst Pool, where swimmers enjoy the aesthetics of marble tiles and classical female forms dancing in high relief, now has morning hours (6:15 to 10 a.m. most weekdays) in addition to its noon-hour swim and extended evening and weekend hours.

Possible access to two smaller pools, Hearst East and West, currently used by the ROTC and others, is also being explored.

Another option is Golden Bear Pool, a 25-yard-long pool located on the Clark Kerr Campus. Three-hour free parking is available in the rear lot behind Building #22, just south of the pool.

Recreational swim hours have also been extended at Strawberry Canyon's two pools, above campus on Centennial Drive.

Strawberry Canyon West is a free form pool, used primarily for recreational family swimming. Five lanes have been created to accommodate lap swimmers.

"Spieker closing enabled us to patch and reopen Strawberry Canyon East, which has been closed for more than a year," says Andrews. Plans are to keep both Strawberry Canyon pools open all year. "They usually close West in the winter," she says.

Swimmers can reach the Strawberry Canyon pools via the Hill Service campus shuttle (which leaves Mining Circle every 30 minutes on the quarter hour), or by car, with free parking available to RSF members.

Spieker is scheduled to reopen in eight to 10 months. Andrews says that the numerous postponements of its closing, over the last month, do not necessarily push the completion time out on the other end.

"We've got a deadline to get into the facility by January 1999," she says.

For a recorded schedule of campus pool recreational swim hours, updated weekly, call the pool hotline at 643-7470.



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