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Surface of FIT pool to be replaced after broken pieces posed risks to students

The surface of the pool built in 2017 at The Village has been “patched over” the past two years, but is now being completely repaired. ORACLE PHOTO/LEDA ALVIM

For two years, areas of the surface of the FIT Pool have been breaking into shards and posing danger to students, requiring Recreation and Wellness to make consistent repairs, according to the Director of Recreation and Wellness Chris Marks. 

Now, the pool is being resurfaced to eliminate the problem altogether.

The pool, which has not been replaced since it was built in 2017, is surfaced with a marcite blue textured finish. Recreation and Wellness was forced to make frequent repairs when the marcite began “detaching and breaking into pieces,” according to Marks. 

“When this happens, the edge of the broken marcite becomes sharp and people can cut their feet while in the water,” Marks said.

Marcite is a cement and marble dust traditionally used in pools as an “affordable option,” according to Blue Haven Pools. Marcite is known to be vulnerable to unbalanced water chemistry and hard water, according to Blue Haven Pools. 

Marks said no one has been injured from the cracking finish. 

Marcite finishes should last eight to 12 years, according to Swimmer Living . However, the surface is being repaired less than seven years after its construction at USF. 

Capstone On-Campus Management (COCM), Recreation and Wellness’ partners in the Village, are paying for the repair out of contingency funds set aside for “issues like this,” which Marks said will cost approximately $89,000.

The construction began during a routine closure of the FIT pool between Thanksgiving and Spring Break. Recreation and Wellness requested that the project be completed ahead of the scheduled reopening after Spring Break, according to Marks. 

The vendor predicted the project would be completed by the end of February barring any issues, Marks said.