UCC Mainstream Online

Pool opening creates a splash

UCC Pool!
Dustin Barneburg / Mainstream

To some it seemed like a millennium since the Umpqua Community College’s swimming pool was operational. Well sunny days are here again.

The 225,000 gallon pool was filled with water in just over 48 hours, leaving students, faculty, and community members abuzz with excitement.

“It’s exciting. I think the whole campus and community of Roseburg is excited to have the swimming pool re-opened,” Summer Events Coordinator Daniel Leeworthy said. “We are looking forward to teaching classes and having the community and students use the swimming pool.”

The college isn’t wasting any time, offering swim classes to students starting May 5.

 “We are teaching Beginning Swim, Swim for Fitness, Lifeguard Training, Water Safety Instruction, Water Scuba will be there, and our police academy will use it as well,” Athletic Director Cheryl Yoder said.

If you are unable to squeeze a pool related class in your schedule this spring, do not worry.

 “We are letting spring term students swim for free. We are trying to encourage people to get back in the pool,” Yoder said. “We will be having lap swimming hours for students from 7 to 9 a.m. and 12 to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.”

For the community, summer swimming can’t begin soon enough.

Former UCC student, and mother of five children, Coral Wallace stated, “I have so many fond memories of lying around the pool near its steps and playing in the water with friends. I really look forward to my children having the same type of opportunity to make their own memories when the pool re-opens.”

Leon Woodring, a UCC civil engineering major, and lifelong resident of the Umpqua Valley said, “I used to swim here when I was a kid. It brings back good memories of simpler times. I am very happy to see it back in tip top shape. They did a great job.”

Many community members recall similar summer tales of the not so distant past.

“Throughout this whole process, I have heard many stories about people telling me that they learned how to swim in this swimming pool,” Leeworthy said. “It is great to have it re-opened, everyone has many fond memories. It really is something that binds the community and the college together in a special way.”

Regardless, it is not cheap to get a broken 225,000 gallon pool up, running, heated and maintained for the students’ and public’s use. ASUCC got into the act by helping a bit with some of the expenses.

“ASUCC gave us some money to help with the ordering of supplies,” Yoder said. “They gave us $6,000. We ordered new lane lines, new storage bins, and rescue tubes for our lifeguards.”

Now that the pool is operational, the hope is it can start paying for itself.”

“Everything we generate financially goes back into the pool operations. It is expensive to fill that pool and keep it warm.” Yoder said. “Our goal is to make it a self-sufficient endeavor by getting a lot of groups to use the pool. We will have recreational swim in the afternoon and evening once summer gets here. That is always a big draw of community members.”

UCC is also looking to fill a number of lifeguard positions for its summer operations. For every 25 people in the pool, at least one lifeguard is required to be on duty. UCC offers the necessary classes to become certified.

“We need lifeguards right now to apply,” Yoder said. For those seeking certification, Yoder said, “Take my lifeguard class that begins May 5, and if you want to teach swimming lessons you take the WSI (water safety and instruction) class. What a great summer job for a college or high school student.”

The college will host a grand re-opening celebration for the public May 17. Free swimming and food will be provided for all ages from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Following spring term, public swimming will be available Monday through Saturday, from 1 to 4, and 7 to 9 p.m. Students and community members can pay for a one time use of the pool, or even buy a seasonal pass. There will also be swim lessons Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.