Swim team lacks pool


Courtesy of Scott Galloway

Because of past performance, the swim team will be moving on to the district meet.

Olivia Griffin, News Editor

The swimming and diving team remains the school’s only UIL sanctioned sport (excluding golf) without an on campus practice facility after voters rejected the Lovejoy ISD Bond, which would have provided the funds necessary to build a covered, above ground swimming pool.

That means that for the foreseeable future, the team will continue to practice at the Oak Point Recreation Center, located at the intersection of Jupiter Road and Spring Creek Parkway in Plano, where the district currently pays approximately $1,200 a month in rental fees, totaling more than $10,000 a year.

“It does cut into swimmers’ practice time,” head coach Greg Fisher said. “We are at the mercy of the Plano ISD swim team, as they have the priority at any city of Plano facility.”

The cost of building an above-ground training pool was estimated by the district to be $2,763,436. The Oak Point Center also has more facilities than the prospective natatorium that would have been built on campus.

“It is a good situation for us as it is an indoor facility that gives us plenty of lanes, a diving board, locker rooms to change in, and plenty of time in the morning for our practice,” Fisher said.

Varsity swimmers have mixed feelings about having a pool on campus rather than in Plano.

“It is good that we didn’t get a pool on campus because they wouldn’t have had locker rooms for us to use,” freshman Mallory Immel said. “But in a way I do want us to have a pool because we as swimmers feel unrecognized and we deserve a pool.”

Other swimmers agree that a pool on campus would increase the visibility of the team.

“We practice everyday and compete a lot and nobody really notices us,” freshman Sarah Wallaert said. “I really think that having our own pool would be good.”

To help swimmers get to-and-from practice, the district has established a transportation system.

“Most of our athletes drive themselves, but we do provide a bus for anyone that needs transportation,” Fisher said.

With the bonds having not been approved by the community, no plans have been made for additions to the swim team’s facilities.

“Our plan is to keep doing what we have been doing, which is to find the best situation for our swimmers and divers to train and practice for their competitions,” Fisher said. “At this time there are no other plans for a pool to be built anywhere in the Lovejoy ISD boundaries.”