Lack of funding limits swimming pool access3 min read

Swimming pools available only to physical education students

Stacy Lane

Students at De Anza College will have to petition the student senate if they wish to use the campus pools for recreational swim during the academic year. The reason for the current restriction on free swim comes down to two factors: money and time.

According to swim instructor Tom Beggs, De Anza cannot have recreational swim without supervision by qualified lifeguards – an expense the school currently can’t afford.

De Anza student Wilson Yuen said, “I think the students have the right to utilize the swimming pool because we pay the tuition.”

Other students, such as Tuyen Nguyen, agree. “I like swimming, so they should open it to students who really want to swim. Maybe you could sell tickets.”

“Friday would be the only available time for recreational lap swim,” said Rich Shroeder, Athletics Division coordinator, but time on Friday is also restricted to hours after 1 p.m. since classes are held until then.

Currently, the pool is used by De Anza’s physical education department and De Anza Cupertino Aquatics, an outside, competitive swim program.

De Anza’s students are in the pool five days a week, and DACA uses the pool seven days a week.

DACA is currently under contract with De Anza to use its pool facilities and, up until four years ago, funded lifeguards to be on duty for students to swim recreationally. However, according to Beggs, not enough students showed up to justify the expenditure, and DACA was losing money.

Student Mona Jalaeian said, “Maybe students didn’t know about it. If they knew, they would really show up.”

However, De Anza does offer free swim time during the summer. According to Jerry Koch, associate head coach of the Swimming and Diving Program, lap swim is offered to students and faculty for free from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

De Anza’s sister school, Foothill College, offers recreational lap swim during the summer and hires lifeguards at $10 an hour, according to Sue Gatlin, athletics director at Foothill College.

She said the pool use would probably be offered only in June because there are too many activites to allow students free swim time for the rest of the summer.

At De Anza, however, there are not enough funds for the pools during the academic year. “It’s a lean year,” said Frank Nunez, director of Facilities and Operations at De Anza.

Maintaining the pools is one of the more costly expenditures at De Anza, second only to electrical costs.

It costs approximately $144,194 annually to maintain the pools, according to De Anza’s maintenance logs. This figure includes pool materials, personnel, heating and water costs. The district allocated $41,766 this year, and DACA’s contract brings in another $54,404, brininging this academic year’s budget to around $96,170, leaving no room for extra expenses.

The way to get money allocated is to petition the DASB Senate, said Beggs. This way, students can inform the DASB that they would show up to free swim if it was offered.

Beggs hopes it will get students interested in De Anza’s pool program. He offers a little relief, too: Any student who passes a preliminary swim test is welcome to jump in the pool during his adapted physical education aquatic class on Fridays between 10:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.