Swim team to gain new ‘pond’

Nick Smith, Staff Reporter

Construction for the district’s new swimming pool has begun at Sloan Creek Intermediate School. Scheduled to be complete before the start of school in August, the project will provide the swim program with much needed accessibility.

“The pool will allow us to create the best schedule for our teams’ practices,” junior Brady Duke said. “It also helps out swimmers who won’t be able to make practices as they would could go after school or when they are available to train.”

The swimming program has been at the mercy of Plano high school teams as they have priority access at Plano’s Oak Point Recreation Center, where the swim team currently practices. This has provided issues for the team as the commute cuts into practice time, and the center does not have a permanent locker room for the team.

“We have to fit their schedule for when we can swim and we have to accommodate other groups such as different swim teams and water aerobics,” Duke said. “With a pool in our district, we wouldn’t have to deal with these problems, so the team is very excited about the new pool.”

Head swimming coach Matthew Franks said that the new pool will solve these current problems as well as provide them with more opportunities to advance their training, increase the size of the program, and further the success of the swimmers.

“The new pool is crucial to our programs continued success,” Franks said. “The teams had a great season this year and having a home facility will hopefully encourage more people to join the sport and allow us to really step up our training. Continuing to break records and having success at every level of swimming will continue to bring people to the sport.”

The approximately $2,000,000 needed for the new swimming pool came through the district’s 2014 bond program which outlined the specifics of the project. The pool will measure 25 yards by 25 meters, including a removable air dome as a cover, and will be located where Sloan Creek’s tennis courts used to be.

The district chose the Sloan Creek site as it was our most cost-effective option,” assistant superintendent for operations Dennis Womack said. “Sloan Creek provided both locker rooms and parking without the district having to spend additional money. To add locker rooms and parking at the same level we have at Sloan Creek would have incurred a cost of $3.5 million.”

The new pool won’t just be used by the swimming program, but also local swim clubs that will help with the maintenance of the pool.

“The district has secured a contract with a local aquatics club that will bear 100 percent of the cost of operating the pool in return for using it for club swimming when the district is not using the pool,” Womack said. “Therefore, LISD will use the pool for the middle school and high school swim and dive programs and the aquatics club will use the pool [when LISD is not using it] for their programs.”