Flowers Hall pool availability dependent upon student use

by Student Writer John Ed Dearman

Starting this semester, the swimming pool in Flowers Hall will be open for recreational use to students.

Students may use the pool on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. starting Sept. 16, said James Eubanks, recreational sports and fitness director.

Eubanks said the pool was open in the past, but has been closed in the recent years due to lack of student use.

“It was a business decision,” he said. “We had to pay the lifeguards. We also have to have a third person to check the ID’s. That costs almost 30 bucks an hour for us to have it open, and we just weren’t getting any use.”

Eubanks said the department was not making enough return on the money invested in the pool to keep it open.

He also said when the pool was open in the past, on average only four or five people were using it per day, and that is when he decided to close the pool.

Eubanks said the pool first closed three years ago.

“When we first made that decision, the SGA came back to us maybe a half year later requesting it be reopened,” he said.

Eubanks said the pool reopened the next year, but continued to have a low number of student use. Because of this, they closed it again the following year.

SGA came back to us last year and I told them we’ll give it one more shot, but if people don’t use it, we’ll have to close it,” he said.

SGA President Nick Lang said he is glad the Student Recreation Center and SGA could work together to reopen the pool for students.

“I would like to personally encourage all students to fully utilize the pool during the hours that it is open,” Lang said. “It is important for the students to show the SRC staff that we appreciate them for opening the pool to all students.”

Lang also said he thinks students should take advantage of the opportunity to work as a lifeguard at the pool.

Eubanks said one of the reasons the pool was not being used was its location.

“It’s in a location that’s not very visible,” he said. “It’s in the bottom of Flowers Hall, and there’s no outside entrance.”

Students must enter the front doors of Flowers then go down stairs to reach the pool, he said.

Freshman Nick Butler said he was told there was a pool when he was at SOAR, but does not know where it is located.

Senior Richard Allen Stubbs said he did not know where the pool was inside Flowers until recently.

“I found out where the pool was just a few weeks ago when we used it during Resident Advisor training,” Stubbs said.

Eubanks said he has a plan for deciding whether to keep it open for the next semester.

“We’re going to record everyone’s name when they come to the pool, that way we can see how many people are using the pool,” he said.

He said he will look at the number of students who are using the pool this semester and compare it to the number of students who used it.

“We’re going to leave it open the whole semester regardless of how many people show up,” Eubanks said. “But at the end of the semester I’m going to have to make that decision to see if we’re going to leave it open for the spring.”

Eubanks said he will make a decision by early December.

“We’ll just do what we can,” he said. “If students come, that’s great. We’ll keep it open. If not, we’ll close it again.”