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About that student center swimming pool…

Photo by Zac Seymour

Photo by Zac Seymour

Written By Zac Seymour

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Across the skywalk and under the student center lies one of Point Park’s biggest mysteries; an abandoned swimming pool.

Point Park acquired the student center, formerly the YMCA Greater Pittsburgh, about 10 years ago. Initially, the university had a handful of ideas for the space, but ultimately decided to convert the space for offices, and a student center.

According to Dean of Students Keith Paylo, when the university took ownership of the building, there wasn’t enough interest in the pool for the university to make the investment.

“A climate survey of students, faculty and staff indicated that there would not be enough use of the pool to make it worth the cost of upkeep and operation,” Paylo said.
After the acquiring the building, the university did look into fixing and operating the pool year-round. Paylo said that after looking further at the mechanics of the pool, it was determined that “the swimming pool was in need of many upgrades including equipment upgrades; making the project cost prohibitive.”

Through further investigation by the university, it was found that the cost to fix the pool would be over seven figures. On top of that, the cost to maintain the pool could cost an additional seven figures per year, Paylo added.

When told that the university has no plans of fixing the pool, freshman economics and finance major Braden Foley said, “I would absolutely be interested in fixing up the pool. Especially in the heat of the summer, having a pool would be a great way for students to cool down and relieve stress. There’s really nowhere else in the area that students can swim without paying a monthly fee.”

Freshman sports, arts and entertainment management major Georgia Fowkes said having a pool could open opportunities for Point Park.

“We could have a swim team, and maybe even a water polo team,” Fowkes said. “Having a pool would definitely put us on another level, where we could compete with other local universities.”

Paylo said the interest in the facility and student body does not currently outweigh the price for upkeep.

After all, according to the 2016-17 university factbook, students pay an average of about $33,000 in tuition each year, in addition to the room, board, and a student activity fee. With almost 4,100 students enrolled this year, the university collected upwards of $130 million in tuition this year.

Paylo said that the university is continuing to develop plans for this space in order to allow for multi-functional student space.

“The University is continuing to develop plans for this space in order to allow for a multi-functional student space,” he said, alluding that the pool could be filled in, and used to house “service offices along with open areas for students to congregate and interact with one another.”

Foley said he did not want to see the pool filled and turned into more office space, but rather have the university spend the money to repair and maintain the pool.

“The university can’t function without the students, and with the amount we’re paying each year, the pool should be a minimal financial concern for Point Park.”

According to Paylo, in order for the university to reconsider renovating the pool, a petition would need the signatures of at least 30 percent of the university’s total student population, who would be willing to have fees added to their yearly expenses in order to maintain the pool, or about 1,230 signatures.

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1 Comment

One Response to “About that student center swimming pool…”

  1. Donte DeBose on April 25th, 2017 11:58 am

    Open that pool!

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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