Rose Pool closing in June
Rose Pool will be a venue for aquatic events at the Special Olympics summer games for the last time this year. The pool to close in June.
A committee comprised of students, staff and faculty from Central Michigan University and members of the Mount Pleasant community gathered last fall to weigh the pros and cons of keeping the pool open.
The committee reached a decision to close it, because repairing the more than 40-year-old pool would cost the university about $4.6 million. That price still wouldn’t bring it up to competition code, said Stan Shingles, committee chairperson and assistant vice president of University Recreation.
It is still being decided what will happen with the space once the pool is closed.
Darrin Masselink said the pool was used for many classes and events. The Rose Pool was used mainly by scuba classes and other physical education courses, club teams like water polo and swim and dive, a venue for swim lessons and life guard training, Special Olympics aquatics events, Commission on Aging fitness classes and swim teams in the community, said the assistant Director of aquatics and safety.
“The interesting thing is Central used to have a swim team, and Rose Pool used to be within regulation,” Masselink said. “This just kind of tells you how regulations have changed over the years."
As specifications changed and the sport grew, the pool became less and less adequate, he said.
“It’s really about how much money you want to put into (Rose Pool) and have the limited use that we still have,” Masselink said. “The SAC pool is used more than Rose, and obviously there are some clubs that will be affected, but really we had to try to weigh these things.”
Aquatic events like distance swimming and longer swim events in the Special Olympics summer games will still be held in Rose Pool this year, but after that, athletes will need transportation to a different pool to compete, said Ann Guzdzial, the chief program officer of Special Olympics Michigan.
Guzdzial said Special Olympics is in the process of securing a space in Alma College facilities for 2017.
“It will be an impact for us,” Guzdzial said. “It obviously is going to be and expense for us for transportation. Whatever pool we use, whether it’s Alma, Midland or whatever we have to do outside of this community, we will have to transport our athletes.”
Special Olympics has had trouble using Rose Pool because the depth didn't allow athletes to do dive starts for swimming events. The pool is not up to code, Guzdzial said.
Guzdzial said there was a community meeting last Sunday, Sept. 6 with several swim groups and parents to talk about what would have to be done to build a community pool in Mount Pleasant.
“Definitely for the community it’s probably a bigger loss because of the Pacers and swim team, and all of the groups who use that pool,” Guzdzial said.
Masselink is the adviser for club water polo, and said the depth in the SAC pool is not sufficient to play the sport. He still has to see what the club wants to do next year. He said they would not be able to hold deep water testing for scuba classes, or deep water training for life guard certification.
“Rose Pool was built as a competition pool years ago, where the SAC pool is more for recreation,” Masselink said. “That’s why there are depth differences. But one of the advantages of Rose Pool was the depth, it was one of the only deep water pools in the area.”
Masselink said he didn’t think moving programs to the SAC would cause overcrowding issues.
“I would say from a pool space standpoint, we still have room there,” he said.
Rose Pool is a 25-yard, 6-lane pool with a depth of 4 feet at each end and 8 feet in the middle. Rose also has a diving well with two 1-meter diving boards.