As Elon and the Koury Center begin to relax their coronavirus safety measures, one of the mainstays of campus life is back and open, the recently updated Beck Pool.
Campus Recreation & Wellness made the decision to fully close the pool last fall, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning Beck Pool has not seen normal operations since students were sent home in the spring of 2020.
Before the pandemic, around 4,000 students, faculty and community members used Beck Pool per year, according to Larry Mellinger, director of Campus Recreation & Wellness. Junior Shaun Goodman said he is happy to see the pool reopen.
“It is a great place to see your friends you haven’t seen in a while,” Goodman said. “It’s good to have that comradire with your fellow students.”
Students using Beck Pool this year will have a host of new animentites to enjoy. While the pool was closed due to the pandemic, Mellinger said Campus Recreation & Wellness poured $30,000 into facility upgrades to extend the lifespan of the pool, which is over 50 years old.
Mellinger said the pool’s shell was already due to be resurfaced last year in order to pass an annual state inspection. This routine involves removing the existing pool surface and laying a new coat to help keep the pool clean and swimmers safe. Because the pool must be drained during this process, Campus Recreation & Wellness took the opportunity to do further work on Beck Pool.
Closing the pool also allowed for additional upgrades to the pool, including moving the starting blocks to the deep end, adding stairs to enhance accessibility, and a number of minor mechanical upgrades to prolong its life.
“After we made the decision to close for the year and drained the pool for the shell resurfacing, that provided an opportunity for us to do some other upgrades we have been wanting to do for a while,” Mellinger said.
Goodman said he would like to see further improvements to the pool to help bolster student engagement, including the addition of a poolside basketball hoop.
“You’d get so much more engagement if you do that, especially with guys,” Goodman said.
As of now, people at Beck Pool are required to wear a mask unless eating, drinking, showering or swimming, a policy that has grown tiresome to Goodman.
“I can’t wait for [the mask mandate] to end and everything to go back to normal,” Goodman said.
Updates to Beck Pool’s policy, as well as operational hours, can be found on the RecWell website.