By Andrea Wiegman
Special to GoHolyCross.com
For those of you who have never stepped foot onto the Holy Cross pool deck, there has never been a better time to explore. The pool, which will be 30 years old in January, underwent several renovations this summer. In May the pool was drained, acid washed and grouted. Loose pool deck tiles were replaced along with new ceiling acoustical tiles. This was a job so laborious that it required staging in the 13 feet deep end of the pool.
By far, the most exciting part of all of the work is the new bulkhead, which will be installed in late October. The new bulkhead allows the team to start races off of the starting blocks into seven feet of water rather than at the shallow end into four feet of water. Senior captain Laura Webber (Hampden, Mass.) is really looking forward to this new bulkhead. "When we get the bulkhead it's going to be much better diving into the deep end," said Webber. "Even as an experienced swimmer, I feel uncomfortable diving so close to the bottom. I think it makes our pool more professional looking to visiting teams."
Senior captain Brian Power (Southport, Conn.) is very happy with the renovations. "The lighting is definitely an improvement and with the sound reducing aspects of the new ceiling tiles, it is much easier to communicate on deck," said Power. Although sound reduction may seem like a miniscule issue, reducing the echo in the pool makes it easier when swimmers are trying to hear their times called out during hard workouts and making sure that they are staying on pace.
Ned Supple (Needham, Mass.) loves the fact that these improvements will make the pool more inviting to those who are not just on the swim team. "We visit a lot of schools whose facilities were built around the same time as our pool, and you can tell that they haven't been cared for," said senior captain Supple. "It's very uncomfortable for the swimmers and spectators. All this work will allow our pool to be a great venue that HC and the Worcester community will benefit from for a long time."
After talking with several members of both the men's and women's teams along with head coach Barry Parenteau, it is easy to see that the overall consensus is that everyone is happy with the improvements to the pool, getting the team excited to get in the water and win some races. Having a pool that is enjoyable to swim in helps increase morale.
Coach Parenteau also wanted to recognize Brendan Quinn from Physical Plant on the tremendous job he has done of coordinating all the different projects and contractors. Coach Parenteau believes that the work done over the summer was much needed maintenance that will enable the Hart Center pool to be able to serve the recreational and athletic needs of the Holy Cross community and the Worcester area for years to come.
The six lane Olympic sized pool is a thing of beauty that is often overlooked by most members of the Holy Cross community. Open swim hours are as follows: Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., Friday 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.