In Friday’s Oracle, USF students read this quote: “Everything ages, and with other schools, their facilities and the things they can offer their students (are up to date). We need to have the most up-to-date offerings as well.” Students may have hoped the quote concerned the crumbling Fine Arts building or crowded conditions in the School of Architecture. But instead, the quote referred to one of USF’s outdoor pools.
Aquatics coordinator of Campus Recreation Jennifer Clarke, the originator of the quote, was right in her assessment that USF students deserve better. Other campus officials added that the pool has been overhauled since its original construction in 1966, but is now so far beyond repair that it will need a total overhaul.
The pool clearly needs an overhaul. But for students and faculty to read about a pool renovation that will give the recreational facility more of a “resort-style atmosphere” while USF continues to teach classes at the mall and in buildings from the same era as the pool shows a certain lack of focus in USF’s planning strategy.
In 2004, USF’s architecture program, for example, was ranked in the Top 40 programs of 120 competitive programs in the country. Yet the building (insert architecture joke here) is in such bad disrepair sewage spills have interrupted classes and students work in cramped conditions.
Funds to be used for recreational facilities in most cases cannot be easily allocated for other uses, such as overhauling buildings housing classrooms. But the fact remains that while one sector receives funding, others, that need funds even more desperately, can only stand idly by and wait for funding.
If the Andros Pool is deemed unsafe and not up to the standard USF wants to set for facilities on its Tampa campus, then it should indeed be fixed. But other problems that are even more pressing and more pertaining to USF’s academic campus life must be addressed with the same energy that is now put into planning a new pool.