USU pool to open in March

Laura Stace

CSUN’s University Student Union (USU) Facilities and Projects Services Technician Grant Rockfellow said last week’s rain caused a delay in the renovation of the USU pool.

Work began on the USU pool on Jan. 5, 2009 and was expected to reopen on Feb. 28, 2009.

‘We are working hard to make the March opening but considering the additional forecasted rain I do not have an exact reopen date,’ said Rockfellow.

The USU’s Assistant Director of Facilities ‘amp; Maintenance Gary Homesley said they will be re-plastering and re-tiling the pool, updating the plumbing system, making improvements to the pool’s lights and remodeling the locker rooms.

Rockfellow said the project’s budget is $138,000. Actual renovation was contracted at $132,000, and is funded by the USU.

Both Homesley and Rockfellow said the pool has not been upgraded in about 20 years.

‘The plaster was falling off, it would get dirty real quick so I am looking forward to the new tiling,’ said junior kinesiology major and USU pool lifeguard Brick Jordan.

Jordan said he works 16 hours a week as a lifeguard. During the pool’s renovation he said he has been working at the Fitness Center.

Jordan was lifeguarding at the USU pool last summer when a girl got her hair caught in the cap of a suction valve 18 inches under water.

After calling 911, Jordan helped resuscitate the girl. The girl was a participant in CSUN’s Sunny Day Camp Program.

Jordan said the girl was taken to hospital and was back at camp later that week.

‘It was a pretty dramatic situation, that’s what I think sparked the renovation,’ said Jordan.

‘People couldn’t care less whether the pool is revamped or not. We’ve been complaining about it for years and they have done nothing.’

Senior CTVA major and USU pool lifeguard Dan Arnold said he is disappointed that the pool is closed as he has not been swimming since renovation began.

Arnold and other lifeguards refused to comment on why the renovation started.

USU Associate Executive Director Jason Wang said this was because their supervisor had instructed them not to talk about the incident at the pool.

USU Commercial Services Manager Jeremy Hamlett who oversees and directs the Sunny Day Camp, Wang and Rockfellow all said that the incident is not related to the pool renovation.

According to a memo sent from Rockfellow to the USU board of directors, the board voted in May 2008 allocating $80,400 for the pool’s renovations, months prior to the incident.

However, the memo indicated that additional funding was needed to employ Rowley International Pool Inc., an aquatic design and engineering firm, to consult during the construction.

Wang said that the hiring of the pool consulting company was due to the incident that occurred over summer. The memo also states that the additional funding would be allocated to pool features including starting block installation, ground bonding, light housing replacement and an auto fill system.

The consulting company and the additional features cost the USU $40,000.

Wang said the valve cap the camper had her hair caught in was an item that had been recalled and the manufacturer had not informed the USU.

‘If we would have known about it, we would have definitely done something,’ said Wang.

Wang said after the incident Rowley International Inc. inspected the pool. Its safety was approved and the pool was reopened.

The LA County Health Department leaves it to the campus to conduct their own safety checks on the pool but as a courtesy to the USU Wang said they inspect the pool once every two years.

After construction on the pool is completed and before reopening, Wang said the pool will be inspected by the LA County Health Department.