A rumor circulating that the Recreational Fitness Center’s pool will be closing down next year has been confirmed to be just what it started as: a rumor.
“There are no plans to close the pool,” verified Bill Born, Vice President of Student Life.
Students and community members may have heard rumors of the pool’s financial instability since conversation regarding the issue began last spring. But swimmers can be assured that the pool will remain open at this point.
However, the financial implications of the pool’s upkeep will continue to be heavily considered by the President’s council.
The pool currently costs about $50-70 thousand dollars per year to accommodate staffing, maintenance, custodial work, repairs and building deprecation. Weighing these considerations against the pool's current profit, the overall budget model requires an assessment of the positives and negatives that are involved with its use.
“Any institution that owns a pool asks similar questions. What programs are central? How must we assess staffing? Are there ways to generate more profit?” said Born.
One idea raised by some individuals for maximizing profit would be to form a college swim team to guarantee regular usage of the facilities. In a county where surrounding high schools graduate talented swimmers, a swim team may even serve as a recruitment tool for enrollment. Though the pool does not hold a large area for spectators, it would otherwise meet the standards for a swim program.
Another factor that will be closely looked at for the future is the role of the pool in the larger community. Currently the pool is used predominantly by Goshen community members including Greencroft residents or patients recovering from rehabilitation surgeries, even though the facility’s primary intent is for student use.
The pool also serves as a facility for some teacher education courses on campus, as well as recreation for students.
"Swimming is my favorite way to get exercise and something that I look forward to. For me it is a great stress reliever and the perfect place to let out pent up energy after a long day of classes and studying," said Jess Sprunger, a first-year that regularly swims at the RFC.
Though the pool’s status is not currently threatened, the balance between campus benefit and financial profit will continue to be evaluated.
“The pool is a great thing in terms of recreation, aerobics, therapy and community. But it is on the table for conversation,” said Born, “If you’re passionate about it, we’d love to hear.”