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Volume 70, Issue 85, Friday, February 4, 2005


Aquatic eyesore not long for this world

Deserted outdoor pool may become future site for student housing

By Rachael Seely
The Daily Cougar

The outdoor swimming pool on the south side of campus has seen better days.

It was once a place where students mingled, a welcome haven from the hot Houston sun. But now it's nearly forgotten, with discolored safety cones atop the old diving blocks and a deflated volleyball floating in the brackish water.

The pool, between the Moody Towers volleyball courts and Parking Lot 6B, opened in the 1950s and closed in summer 2002. The Campus Recreation and Wellness Center's Olympic-sized indoor pool opened that April, and it was too expensive for the University to operate both.

University officials are looking at the outdoor campus pool, which closed in 2002, as a potential site for new University housing.
Rashah McChesney/The Daily Cougar

"We stopped taking care of it because Campus Rec moved over here," Frank Lu, aquatic supervisor at the CRWC Natatorium and former lifeguard at the outdoor pool, said. "We saw no use for staffing both."

However, the pool won't stay in its current state forever. Its fate is part of the campus master plan.

"(The pool is) one of the potential sites we are looking at for housing," said Dave Irvin, associate vice president for Plant Operations.

He said it will probably be at least a year before anything happens at the site, even if it is selected for a new housing development.

"Regardless of what happens, the pool has got to come out," Irvin said.

He estimated removing the pool will cost around $150,000, and removal will only occur after definite plans have been made for the site. That way, removal and construction on the new project can happen at the same time, keeping the cost and disruption of campus life down.

As for the brackish water in the pool's bottom, Irvin said the University tries to drain it every couple of months.

"I'll have someone take a look at it," he said.

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