Cornell closed the Teagle practice pool in March for routine maintenance and water quality improvements, while the Helen Newman and Teagle competition pools are set to close in the summer. All three pools have no set reopen date.
The Teagle small pool was taken offline because its sand filtration tanks needed maintenance, requiring the pool to be drained.
Additionally, the Teagle large pool, was temporarily unusable for a different reason — there was a need to improve the clarity of the water, which caused the need to close the pool until it was “brought back into compliance” according to Lisa Anderson, director of facilities.
Once Cornell had realized that there was an issue, they have been “engaging with engineers” in order to fully understand the necessary steps to solve the system that support pool operations.
Since both the Helen Newman and Teagle pools have aging infrastructures, they will also have to be temporarily decommissioned over summer break to make similar repairs.
In anticipation of the pool closing, Cornell moved practice pool programs, including athletic strength training and swim classes, into the Teagle competition pool schedule.
While the pool’s closure has crammed swim programs into a tighter space and schedule, Wes Newman ’09, head coach of men’s swimming, said that while the team was unable to use certain equipment.
“I think our guys are still ready to swim fast and we made do with the equipment that we had,” Newman said.
The closure of Teagle’s pool has affected the broader Cornell population as well.
James Sharrock, an avid user of the pool, said that the larger pools are insufficient for recreational use as these pools not only get crowded but also lack an important feature — a shallow area.
“The large pools are normal pools so there isn’t a shallow area which is perfect for beginners,” said Sharrock, “It’s insane [and] I think what it shows me is that there is a lack of strategic planning.”
Anderson maintained the position that the pool systems “have a lifespan” and due to their age, they are in need of replacement and repairs.