Students around the Stony Brook campus have eagerly anticipated the opening of the renovated pool that has taken years to rebuild, but it is only a matter of time before swimmers are able to rejoice in their new home.
Students can expect the renovated pool to open by the end of this spring semester after renovation and inspection issues have delayed its opening.
Stony Brook Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron assured that University Pool, upon opening, will be open for all students, not just the women’s swimming and diving team, which is set to resume competition in the 2017-18 season.
“The main priority is that all students have access and not just the swim team,” Heilbron said. “We know this will be a source of pride for our students.”
Lifeguard hiring is already ongoing, according to Campus Recreation, to protect the lives of our fellow Seawolves.
The upgraded 75-foot pool has a maximum depth of 13 feet to swim in with a movable floor at the shallow end. Also featured are two one-meter diving boards and one three-meter diving board. The original wooden bleachers have been replaced with new expanded, hard plastic bleachers that match the ones at Pritchard Gymnasium.
Past and present Stony Brook students, especially the women’s swimming and diving team alumnae, have been anticipating its opening since it was originally closed by state officials in 2012 for renovations.
“I’m happy for the future generation of swimmers,” Allison Zelnick, class of 2014 swimmer, said. “I would like to provide alumni support in any way I can. It’s just a matter of waiting to get called upon.”
Zelnick played for the volleyball team after the pool closed.
“The reopening of the pool has been very, very long anticipated, and we have all been waiting patiently for the reopening and team to start up again to continue on the legacy of Coach Dave,” fellow team alumna Emily Cheng said, referring to David Alexander, who coached at Stony Brook for 32 seasons before passing away from a battle with cancer in 2012.
The Stony Brook women’s swimming and diving team hired Janelle Atkinson, two-time Olympian and former Fairfield men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams head coach, last week for its head coaching position, and a team built from scratch — consisting of freshmen, walk-ons and transfers — will begin competition this fall.
“It’s exciting to add a new sport while other universities are cutting their sports,” Heilbron said.