New pool possibilities
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The proposed referendum in November will have a new, renovated pool for all water sports, with plans to update the pool to meet state standards.
The Girl’s Swim and Dive season started in August with the Boys’ Swim and Dive Team in the winter. Finally, the boys and girls’ Water Polo season begins in the spring.
The swimming pool is also used by gym classes during the school day, club swim teams, swim and lifeguard lessons and other outside programs throughout the year.
The current pool was built in the 1950s, and the facility has not changed in 68 years.
“It’s extremely small, and it doesn’t fit our large team,” said Shannon Lynch, sophomore and varsity swimmer.
Due to the amount of space in the current pool, the Girl’s Swim and Dive team splits up into four different practice groups, with starting practice times ranging from 5:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., according to Bob Barber, head coach, and former Hinsdale Central swimmer.
The current pool also causes problems for the divers, separating the team at times. The swimming pool’s deepest depth is 10 feet. A diving pool depth should be at least 12 feet. Only the Central divers are allowed to dive in Central’s pool; all diving meets are hosted away or at other facilities given the depth issue.
“[Divers] have to sign waivers to use our own boards to be here or we would never see them. We never watch them compete unless we are away, so away meets we’re actually together as a team and home meets we can’t compete together,” Coach Barber said.
“It has a huge impact on the team as a whole because it cuts off the real sense of being a team. We’re not able to cheer them on and encourage them just as they are not able to cheer us on,” said Sara Shanouda, sophomore and JV2 swimmer. “One of the great things about being on this team is the bond we create, and this almost cuts off certain bonds because the times we’re together with the divers are limited.”
The amount of space not only affects the swimming and diving teams, but all sports and activities as well.
One end of the pool is three feet deep, according to Coach Barber. “Water polo is very restricted with this pool because you’re not allowed to use the bottom as an aid, so how do you tread water in that without accidentally pushing off the bottom or your opponent doing it,” Coach Barber said.
The pool area also has accessibility issues for visitors.
“I’ve had parents in the past who struggled with strokes that can’t get into the stands, so we don’t have a way to provide an opportunity to see their children, so we are trying to provide an environment where that would be enjoyable for our fans and other people,” Coach Barber said.
Pool renovations have been brought up many times in the past, and they were not voted through.
“We’ve tried to put a facility plan together for the better part of 25-30 years, and even though they keep getting knocked down for price, the building is deteriorating and the price keeps going up,” Coach Barber said. “Our proposal, less than ten years ago was about one-third to one-half the price. A new facility would provide an environment that reflects a community’s goals where we have a bunch of people trying to work hard in an establishment that is built for them to do well.”
Photos of the potential pool were released earlier this year, and the Girl’s Swim and Dive team had a meet at the pool the proposed one was modeled after.
“I was shocked; [the potential pool] looks so good and I’m excited for the new swimmers to come and be able to enjoy the new pool and take advantage of all the new space and use it to its full potential,” Shanouda said.
To learn more about the renovations and upcoming referendum, visit the district page.