Monday, September 25, 2023

Letter: Spending money on outdoor pool renovations is a mistake

<p>A view of the outdoor pool on Oct. 25, 2015 at IM Sports-West. </p>

A view of the outdoor pool on Oct. 25, 2015 at IM Sports-West.

Photo by Alice Kole | The State News

By Kaiser Mock

Mock is a 2104 graduate of Michigan State.

I would like to express my disappointment in the recent decision by the Board of Trustees to authorize $10 million for the renovation of the IM Sports-West outdoor pool. This was a short sighted decision and one that is not in MSU’s financial or student’s interests. 

With this project, MSU will still be the only school in the Big Ten and the only Division 1 program in the State of Michigan without a regulation indoor competition pool for NCAA meets. This should be unacceptable for a university with the resources and student population such as ours. We will still not be able to properly host indoor swim meets during competition season or even the state high school swim meet that was long held on MSU’s campus until recently. We also will no longer have a regulation diving tower, either indoor or outdoor. We should not be spending a significant amount of money to put ourselves in the same situation facility wise that we were in before.

The outdoor pool was built at a time when the school operated on a trimester system, and classes extended much longer into the warmer summer months, meaning students and athletes could utilize it much more frequently than today. While the indoor pool provides recreational opportunities for students year round, it is lacking of what other institutions in the Big Ten offer students. This means that student’s money, as funding for this project does not come solely from athletics, would be spent to build a facility they would rarely be able to use. This is a poor choice of use of student’s dollars.

The cost of building an adequate indoor 50 meter pool is not significantly more than what is being spent on this project. (See similar projects completed or under development at the University of Wisconsin and University of Wyoming.) Our swim teams have performed magnificently over the years despite the lack of a regulation indoor pool, producing not just great athletes but great students and alumni as well. It is time we give Coach Gianiodis, our athletes, and the entire student population an adequate and proper swim facility. It is the right thing to do and fiscally responsible move for our university. The Board of Trustees, athletic director and interim university president need to halt the current proposed renovation and replace it with a proper indoor facility. 

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