All the water in the swimming pool and diving tank is missing. It has been missing since 1991, according to Yuba College Athletic Director Rob Beilby. So where did it all go? Volleyball coach and former water aquatics teacher, Thea Post, claims that state funding is the reason. Post said, “Back around ’91-’92, there was a major budget crisis and severe cuts had to be made.”
Post remembers teaching lifeguard classes, lap swimming classes, and other water aerobic classes. The athletic director explains that the pool had to be cut because of the operation costs to keep the pool heated and well maintained. Although he was not here at the time, Beilby theorizes that the operation costs were just too much to handle if there was not enough use of the pool facilities. On the other hand, Post thinks it is a shame that the pool had to be cut because “water aerobics is a great class to teach. All of my classes were full.”
However, both agree that because there were never any water sport teams on campus, there was no need for a full-time faculty member hired to coach, which gave the college all the more reason to cut the pool. When asked what he thought the chances were of re-opening the pool Beilby responded, “The bad news is once something is closed down, it is really hard to open.”
Based on the slim chances of getting a pool, I really don’t plan on seeing a usable pool on this campus ever. This is quite upsetting to me because I am an avid swimmer, and to keep swimming competitively, I have to transfer to a different college. It’s unfortunate because I believe that there would be a great turnout for water polo, swim and diving teams at this college. However, both Post and Beilby estimate that it will cost approximately $1 million to complete all the maintenance of the empty concrete hole.
Beilby remarked, “I would like to see the pool open. However, there is no sense in opening the pool if there is no coach for water teams and to ensure full use of the facility.”
Post declared, “To get the pool back, members of the community have to step up and take charge. Perhaps the community could have fund-raisers to raise money for the pool.”
If the community did get involved and raised money to repair our empty hole, everyone would be able to benefit from the pool. Beilby hopes that the pool would be a value, not just to students, but to the community swim teams and the high school swim teams.
Beilby continued, “Maybe our pool could become the one and only premiere facility. The high schools and local swim teams would have an Olympic size pool to practice and compete in. Our students would enjoy the pool, not just for a swim team, but it will also give more physical education class options.”
Freshman Ray Garcia, acknowledged, “I would swim if I did not have to wear those tight little Speedo shorts.”
His friend, Nhia Yang, commented, “I would swim if we had a team, but I do not know how.”
Maybe the college should just come out and say that the pool is never going to be repaired. In that case, the pool area could be turned into something useful. Beilby suggests maybe turning the pool area into an outdoor basketball court or a beach volleyball area.
Baseball coach Eric Burns believes that the empty pool gives our college a poor image. Burns said, “My office is right outside of the pool area. I hate it. I hate looking out at the pool because it looks so bad. It is hard to bring in recruits. When they come in, all they see is our ghost-town pool.”
He then jokingly went on to say, “We should fill it up with water and put bass in it. Then we could teach a fishing class.”
I think that someone should take charge and fix the pool. Not only does an empty hole impose a poor image of our college, but also is a waste of good space that can be used for other athletic or academic purposes. The college has had this empty hole for the past decade, and it is time that something is done about it.
Either the college should find the missing water or refurbish the pool area into something else.