New Stadium, New Ice Rink…Now We Need a Pool!
The Arrowhead pool has been here for 40 years. It has six lanes, is 25-yards long, and many freshmen remember the first time they stepped foot in the water.
But despite the gym classes everyone hates, the pool is home to one of the most successful teams at Arrowhead: the swim team. Since the swim team has supplied many of the trophies in the foyer, shouldn’t they have a pool that actually supports their level of commitment? The time for change has come. The pool was originally built in the 1970s. The diving walls were fixed six years ago and improvements were made to the ventilation system last year, but the swimmers say it’s not enough. “Based on how well both the boys and girls teams do every year, our pool doesn’t reflect our ability,” says Arrowhead junior and swim team member Tori Kolster. “For being one of the best—if not the best—team in the state, we have a below average pool.
” The swimming and diving teams have won more state championships than any other team at Arrowhead, according to activities secretary Liz Arsnow. “I think the pool needs updates further than the repairs already done in the past year,” says Arrowhead swim team member Devon Mertins, a junior. “The chlorine in the air really affects me.” The Arrowhead pool’s poor ventilation and size are the biggest issues for swimmers, and Arrowhead senior and swimmer Haley Pietila can attest to the health problems as well. “Not only is it hot in the pool area, but during a two hour practice the air quality can get to be so bad we start coughing and have to go outside,” she says.
“This cuts our practice short.” Kolster agrees. “Some days, it’s okay, but other days, everybody’s coughing and red in the face only an hour into practice,” she says. The pool is also extremely small—too small to host the big meets Arrowhead swimmers participate in. Arsnow says, “The pool doesn’t have enough lanes and the capacity is too small to host sectionals.
When all the swimmers and people get in there, it’s actually past capacity.” The size and conditions also affect the swimmers, as many are unable to achieve personal records at home. “I think the pool affects me indirectly. Because breathing is an issue, it makes our coach give smaller or easier sets to swim, which affects our long-term training,” says Mertins. “We could be training harder,” says Pietila, “but our pool’s air problems prevent us from doing so.” Breathing seems to be the main issue, and the ventilation system was updated a few years ago.
Yet the pool still begs for an update and expansion. Arsnow says the only way to help this issue is to get involved and get donations. It is a community pool used by not only the AHS swim teams, but also the Lake Country swim teams and public swimmers (during open swims and classes). In addition to the AHS swim teams, the community needs the space and quality to continue to enjoy the pool. “The pool needs to be completely redone,” says senior Stephanie Hein, a member of the swim team.
“There comes a point when the amount of repairs and updates becomes more expensive than building a new pool. We’ve reached that point.” In the end, Pietila sums it up: “We need some major changes to our pool.”