By Jose Herrera; April 13, 2021
Pool renovations at the BRIC, which first broke ground in August 2020, officially wrapped up last month. With these upgrades, the pool is now ready to welcome back students as soon as they are allowed back in the BRIC.
The project was funded through ASI’s operating reserves for critical maintenance projects, with $350,000 worth of upgrades made to the pool.
During the pandemic, the renovations went smoothly and avoided schedule conflicts with events taking place at the BRIC pool. Students were not present on campus during the duration of the project and aquatic activities were not being held during the time.
According to Victor Martin, facility operations coordinator for ASI Campus Recreation, the renovations mostly targeted some spots of the pool that had rough patches in the plaster. The rough patches made flooring vulnerable to algae, making it difficult to clean off due to its rough aged surface.
Exposure to algae for an extensive amount of time is known to cause skin infections or reactions. However, with the newly smooth plaster from the renovations, the algae can be cleaned off much easier than before.
“We were about a year away, from having to do any of the updates, but we figured instead of patching up the spots we’d drain the pool and get it all done,” Martin said. “We completely drained our 370,000-gallon pool and got to work.”
With the daily efforts of roughly 15 contractors at the job site, not only was the plaster redone and smoothed out, but some light fixtures were also installed.
ASI Interim Aquatics Coordinator Alejandra Gomez, explained that the rough patches in the pool flooring caused slipperiness that created a safety hazard.
“When we had water volleyball or water basketball our numbers were slimmer, some of this was contributed directly to pool flooring,” Gomez said. “Our goal was to resurface the pool and have a good plaster foundation on there.”
Gomez also highlighted that the lighting repairs would address early closure problems in the past.
“Our lights would flicker on and off, it would be 6 p.m. and they would just shut off,” Gomez said. “Sometimes we’d have to close the pool area by 6 p.m. if the lights weren’t working since it’s a safety hazard to the users and lifeguards, so that’s one of the things we got to fix.”
Martin emphasized that from a general pool user’s perspective, the results of the project will not be visible since it was not a cosmetic project.
“It’s going to look the same, besides some tiles we added,” Martin said. “But from someone that works on pools, I can tell you it’s going to be much easier to maintain.”
With the BRIC’s pool update, users can now participate in aquatics and leisure swimming with a sense of safety.
Tony Vertiz, a fourth-year kinesiology student, expressed his gratitude for these updates as he used the pool a handful times when it was still open.
“As a leisure swimmer, I’ll definitely feel better about swimming around the recently updated pool,” Vertiz said. “Since I’m not the best swimmer, the slippery patches really would throw me off at times. I’m just thankful they really put in the work to make it safer for us.”
A soft opening date for the BRIC is planned for Aug. 2 and students can see more information here. Until then the BRIC is offering virtual live yoga, Zumba and meditation sessions. For a list of these activities available and a full calendar visit here.
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