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Recreation director: pool almost unsafe

The USF Tampa Campus may be getting a new face on an old place. The Andros pool is being considered for a major renovation that will make it more aesthetically pleasing and will make the pool safer and more accessible for the students, faculty and staff who use the facility.

“The Andros pool was built around 1966, and it’s been resurfaced a number of times,” said Eric Hunter, director of Campus Recreation. “We’re to a point now where the resurfacing is not holding up as well as we’d like.”

Hunter also pointed out that the major necessity for the renovation is not just aesthetics.

“The pool is almost to the point where it is unsafe to swim in because there are sharp edges in some places, and it’s bubbling up in other places,” he said. “It’s just not a healthy environment in terms of safety now.”

“Everything ages, and with other schools, their facilities and the things they can offer their students (are up to date),” said Jennifer Clarke, aquatics coordinator of Campus Recreation. “We need to have the most up-to-date offerings as well.”

Hunter explained that the plan for the renovation is to resurface the pool with a new and more durable type of material, replace the pool deck, replace and repair nearly all the plumbing and pump equipment, install new landscaping and fencing around the pool and add a zero-depth entry point.

“One of the major plans is to work on the aesthetics of the pool to make it more visually appealing to people,” Clarke said.

“The zero-depth entry is something that you walk into, more like a beach entry,” Hunter said. “The more modern pools are going to that, and it provides more of a resort-style atmosphere as well.”

“A zero-depth entry point would be something to make the pool more accessible to handicapped people,” Clarke added. “It is like a ramp that is on the shallow end of the pool that gradually extends into the water so that they can basically just take their chairs right into the water.”

Hunter pointed out a crucial reason for the renovation: “The health inspector for the county told us, ‘You guys better do something about it soon, or pretty soon I won’t be able to pass it.'”$605,000 in funding for the renovation has been requested. The required funds have been proposed by Campus Recreation to be allocated from USF’s Capital Improvement Trust Fund (CITF). Campus Recreation presented the renovation and funding requests to the CITF Advisory Committee which in turn has recommended it to USF President Judy Genshaft.

“President Genshaft is reviewing the recommendations of the committee, and we will keep you informed of the progress,” said Michelle Carlyon, director of Media Relations.

Hunter explained that, provided the funding is approved, the renovation project should begin during the summer of 2006.

Clarke mentioned that after the renovation, “it (Andros pool) will be a more inviting and comfortable place to swim.”

“I think students would like to have a pool that represents the University in a way that any other modern facility would,” Hunter said. “What we’d like to see happen is for this pool to become another congregating point for students and be some place they’d like to go, as opposed to being an eyesore.”