By Lillian Hauser-Howells | October 10, 2022
UAlbany Swim Club When the Pool was Open
Photo Credit: UAlbany Swim Club
The University at Albany swim club has recently petitioned university administration in an effort to revitalize UAlbany aquatics. The petition has amassed over 1,300 signatures as of Oct. 3.
The “saga” of conflicts between University at Albany swimmers and university administration first began when the university made the decision to close the pool during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the campus began opening back up to students, the pool remained closed. UAlbany has recently made the permanent decision to close the aquatics center to make way for renovations to the Physical Education building, where the pool is housed.
The pool has been closed due to it being one of the least used fitness centers on campus, and because of this decision, the swim club has not had a location to practice since pre-covid.
The petition released by the swim club urges university administration to find another way to renovate the Physical Education building without removing the pool.
UAlbany spokesperson Jordan Carleo-Evangelist said that “nearly six times as many people used the SEFCU Arena fitness center as used the pool, and they used it twice as often.”
The petition created by the swim club discussed that a pool will never have as much usage as a gym because not everyone will seek out swimming as an exercise or because some may not know how to swim. The petition also cited that regular swim meets pre-covid, large swim practices of 30 to 60 swimmers four times a week, and general student use is more than adequate use of the pool. According to the petition, club swimmers do not have to swipe in to use it, which further skews stats on pool usage.
The university is currently looking for an alternative pool for the swim club and other swimmers to use. According to Carleo-Evangelist, the school has struggled to find an alternative because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Carleo-Evangelist said, “We're hopeful that will change as more organizations return to something like normal operations, but so far, Campus Rec. has not been able to find an alternative.”
The swim team voiced in their petition that they are concerned that even an off-campus facility is insufficient because of the inconvenience and possible need for carpooling. Additionally, the president of the UAlbany Swim Club Michael Bratslavsky has said, “We have reached out to YMCA’s, JCC's, [and] other colleges, but so far have had no luck.”
The swim club will continue to run “dry land” practices. UAlbany will go forward with its current plans for an $80 million renovation as the university and swim club look for an alternative facility.