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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

BEAR construction continues

By Tolulope Edionwe

Walk into the natatorium and take a look around. At first glance, you may not notice anything different. The bleachers are the same size, the swimming noodles still look nothing like noodles, and the water is still a delicious slushie blue. But wait a couple of seconds, and the sounds of power drills will bring your attention to the changes that are still being made to the new facility.

The drills you hear are correcting the placement of the pool’s starting blocks, which were previously installed incorrectly.

“This is the only indoor pool in Grinnell, and that means the high school girls and boys teams use it, our Parks and Rec. organization uses it, our club swimming team in town uses it and then of course our varsity teams use it, our water polo team clubs on campus use it, so yeah there are one, two, three, four, five, six [sets of] teams that will benefit from the blocks being correct,” said Tim Hammond, Aquatics Director of the natatorium.

While the blocks may be the most visible change, it is just one of many that will have a broad effect for those who use the pool. In the wet corridor heading from the locker rooms to the pool, there are two new glass doors, whose cloudy exteriors don’t entirely mask the luxuries inside.

“Our steam rooms are being finished right now, which is, I would say, probably significant to the general public,” Hammond said.

Frequently promoted as beneficial for the skin, steam room sessions are also said to be helpful to sufferers of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

There’s one additional change that was made to the Natatorium over the summer, but it wasn’t physical. In an effort to save money, the pool’s hours have changed.

“Any time the pool is open, we have to have two guards on the stand, and you know that’s $17.25 or something like that per hour, and you multiply that [by] …. however many weeks that the pool is open during the school year, and it adds up to a lot of money,” Hammond said.

This year, during the week, the pool will be open to anyone from 6 to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6:30 to 9 p.m. These hours differ from the 2010-2011 year, when the pool was open an additional hour from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is now only open on the weekends from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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