UC pool renovation expected to finish Jan. 11

The renovation to the University Center pool is now expected to be finished by Jan. 11, the first day of classes in the spring semester. Vice President of Student Affairs Patricia Whitely sent an email to The Miami Hurricane Tuesday announcing the new date.

This is later than the originally planned completion date. Executive Director of the UC Daniel Westbrook said in September that the planned completion date was late October. Westbrook said at the time that they wanted to reopen the renovated pool before homecoming week at the start of November, but Whitely said in her email that complications were encountered during the renovations and additional work has to be done.

This is the pool’s first major renovation since its opening in the 1960s. Major water leakage was found to be coming from the pool’s original cast iron piping last spring, which led to the efforts to renovate. Whitely said complications caused by unexpected concrete and electrical structures were encountered during the demolition phase.

“I have a firm belief that this type of renovation, to effectively get a new pool, only happens once in many decades; and we have an obligation to get it right rather than rush it to gain a couple weeks,” Whitely said.

In order to “get it right” in one major renovation, the school decided to go beyond the refurnishing of piping and gutters; a refinished deck, new lounging furniture, redone stainless steel lining with blue plastic casing around the pool’s edge and a more accurate heating system with water-cooling capability are also a part of the renovation. The locker room and other aspects of the pool including the dive tower and starting blocks are also being improved.

Westbrook said in September that the pool’s renovation would certainly cost more than $1 million, but Whitely did not say in her email if the cost would now increase.

“I am sure you share my excitement and sense of anticipation as we look forward to the completion of this major renovation,” Whitely said in the end of her email. “I appreciate your patience and understanding.”