The input from the people who use the pools at Pulliam is very pertinent to the decision to eliminate or retain them. The pools are currently operating quite well and have for some time. It is my understanding that both pools could run for many years to come with minimal maintenance or restoration expense.
Every weekday, a diverse group of people, from university employees and their families to local residents, use Pulliam Pool. Many come to learn how to swim, while others come to treat and rehabilitate arthritis, cancer, heart conditions and a host of other disabling physical problems. Still, others swim and exercise in the pools to prevent such conditions.
This reactive and proactive life-styling of this diverse group of people would be ended by the closing of the Pulliam pools. Therefore, a needs assessment should be conducted to include present and potential pool users. Perhaps the Marketing department has a few students who are looking for such a project.
Consideration should be given to expanding pool hours and charging fees relevant to future maintenance. As it is now, we who swim during the noon hour, or when the 6:30 a.m. group convenes, pay nothing. Most, if not all, would be happy to pay to swim because the pools offer the only “warm” alternative to the Recreation Center’s “cold” water.
The diverse group of people who really need this kind of learning-to-swim pools and therapeutic pools do not want to see them eliminated, because they will never be replaced! Nor will all the goodwill created over the years by SIUC’s service to the community via the Pulliam pools. The needs assessment is absolutely essential in order to clarify this situation and bring it to a successful conclusion.
John F. Snyder
Emeritus associate professor of psychology
It is heartening to finally hear public discussion about the impact the Pulliam Pool closure would have on the diverse communities that use them. I wonder why this input was not solicited before the SIU Board of Trustees decided to close it. Was the Board provided with a use-study of the pool? Was it informed the pool would be used more if it were open more than one hour each weekday? I use the pool several times per week. There are always at least two people in my lane.
If a use-study, as well as budget details of the $7 million “decommissioning” of the pools and basketball court, was made public, an informed discussion with input from affected constituencies could take place.
Does the $7 million include filling the pool and removal of building contents? Is an asbestos study necessary? Is it included in the budget? Has there been a review of other renovation possibilities, including the upcoming vacancies in Woody Hall?
The current facility is a gem and should be treasured. It would be a shame to waste what we already have since SIUC could never afford to build a similar facility. Might alternative options be explored before tossing out the baby with the pool water?
associate professor of cinema and photography