The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday December 10th

UNC's Bowman Gray pool closed inde?nitely for 'safety concerns'

Lifetime Fitness classes and student groups that rely on Bowman Gray pool have been without a place to swim this semester, due to safety concerns.

Administrators declined to comment further on the condition of the facility, and Aquatics Director Deb Murray said the pool will remain closed indefinitely.

“The coatings that were applied to the structural supports in the ceiling were starting to fail,” said John Murphy, occupational and environmental hygiene manager.

A year-long renovation to make the facility compliant with safety and disability regulations ended in October 2010. A little more than a year later, the pool has closed again.

Students, including those in Lifetime Fitness classes and members of the club swimming team, have voiced concern about the closing of the pool.

Freshman Bailie Walters, who is enrolled in swim conditioning, said she took the swimming class because of a knee condition.

“This seems to be something that should have been foreseen and was probably a health risk to begin with,” Walters said in an email.

Freshman Richard Mull, who is in the same class, said instead of swimming, the class has been playing ultimate Frisbee, tag and running stadium stairs.

Freshman David Galindo, another member of the class, said he was not satisfied with the University’s response to the pool’s closing.

“They just want to change the class to exercise and fitness or have us drop,” Galindo said.

“I’m sick of having to drop, and I don’t want to switch around my schedule.”

Kendra Loch, vice president of the club swimming team, said the group has a meet on Feb. 11 but hasn’t been able to use the pool to practice.

“Practice is how we get to know each other,” she said. “It’s crucial to what our team is.”

Other students use Bowman Gray for intramural sports and recreation.

“I just got into swimming over the summer,” said senior Dean Segal. “I was told to swim because of physical therapy. Part of the reason I came to UNC was to use facilities.”

“We’ve tried swimming at Koury, and we’ve been denied. That’s where the varsity team practices,” Segal said.

Rich DeSelm, UNC’s varsity swimming coach, said in an email that Koury Natatorium is allowing recreational swim hours usually held at Bowman Gray. Recreational hours at Koury are noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“I guess it’s a good thing that they closed it,” said freshman Ryan Joyce, a member of the swim conditioning class.

“It’s safety before anything else.”

Contact the University Editor at university@dailytarheel.com.

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