Flowers Hall pool closes due to low use

The Flowers Hall pool is now closed to recreational swimmers due to lack of attendance during swim periods.

Since this semester began, fewer than 20 students have attended, Eubanks said.

“For January and February we had 14 individuals utilize the pool and 18 visits to (the) pool,” he said. “For fall, we had 180 different individuals utilize the pool and 611 total visits to the pool.”

The pool was open last semester for students. Feb. 25 was the last day for students to use the pool.

The opening and closing of the pool to recreational swimmers has happened before, and it always closes for the same reason, Eubanks said.

The Student Recreation Center is an auxiliary operation, meaning the funds come from student fees, he said.

“It’s our job to manage how that money is spent,” Eubanks said.

For the pool to be open, there must be two lifeguards present and one Mane Card checker. The lifeguards earned $10.50 an hour and the Mane Card checker earned $7.25, Eubanks said.

Last semester, the pool was open Wednesdays and Thursdays for a few hours at night, but the SRC added Monday to the calendar per student request.

An adequate number of students attended the recreational swim periods last semester, so the pool stayed open for this semester, and the SRC added an additional day, Eubanks said.

The student employees stationed at the pool “want to work,” said Assistant Director of Recreational Sports and Fitness Glenda Richey.

The three student workers lacked work with so few people using the pool. Both Eubanks and Richey said they believe the university could spend the money in other areas.

The money could pay for programs or equipment, and the SRC always needs new equipment, Richey said.

Maintaining the equipment in the SRC is costly, Richey said.

“(The equipment) gets used, and it have to constantly be maintained,” Richey said

Many people contacted the SRC to complain, Eubanks said. Not all of the people who contacted the SRC were students, meaning they could not have used the pool anyway, Eubanks said.

Many of the students who contacted the SRC claim they did not know UNA had a pool, much less that it was open to recreational swimmers, Eubanks said.

The SRC struggles with getting the word out about many of their events and services due to the amount of people that delete UNA emails without reading them, Eubanks said.

“It will affect UNA Swim because we used public swim as our practice time and divided up the lanes between us and the few people swimming there for fun,” said sophomore and swim team member Jessica Coffey.

The swim team is now subjected to sporadic practice times, sometimes meeting as early as 6:30 a.m., she said. It is hard to organize a strong team with an inconsistent practice schedule, Coffey said.