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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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Pools at the Rec Center reopen


Pool

The Rec Center is now hiring new lifeguards to coincide with the reopening of the pool. | Henry Sturm/The Cougar

On Tuesday the aquatic facilities at the UH Campus Recreations Center reopened after being closed for renovations.

“This project was critical for a number of reasons,” said Kim Clark, director of Campus Recreation.

There were “original design and construction flaws,  some components simply aging and beyond their life span, and the lack of a proper routine and preventative maintenance plan when the facility initially opened,” Clark said.

The work dealt mainly with rehabilitating these aged aspects, including replacement of all HVAC systems, the pump room, the bulkheads, the timing system and video boards and all lighting, according to the Rec’s website.

“The pump room was at a point of imminent catastrophic failure which would have only contributed to greater expenses and a longer down time,” Clark said.

The changes have caught the eyes of some, with College Rank putting the facilities at number six out of the 30 best college pools.

“The natatorium is separated into four parts by three bulkheads. The dry sauna and the whirlpool both have a 20 person capacity,” they said. “The outdoor pool includes waterfalls, geysers, adult and children’s slides, water cooling, hot tub capacity for 20, underwater seating, night lighting, sound system, zero depth beach entry and a bathing shelf.”

The project costed $8.65 million, according to Clark. With a student fee of $92 per semester, the Department of Campus Recreation had to find other avenues of funding.

“The Department did not have $8.65 (million) in reserves for such a large project so we sought approval through the UH Board of Regents to finance the project over 17 years,” Clark said.

From now until school starts in late August, the natatorium will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and then from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday. On Fridays the indoor pool will close earlier during its second shift at 7:30 p.m. On the weekends it will be open from noon to 7:30 p.m.

The leisure pool is open noon to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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