Florida A&M’s pool is back open.
It has been four years since the FAMU Aquatic Center — behind Gaither Gymnasium complex — last operated before administrators ran out of money to pay for lifeguards and maintenance.
FAMU’s Student Government Assocation recently approved money that allows the pool to function again.
Swim coach Jorge L. Olaves welcomed the return of the pool, saying it would allow students to learn to swim or be lifeguards.
The lifeguard training tests students’ swimming skills and their endurance. “Yes, a part of lifeguard training, the trainees had to tread water while carrying a 10 lbs. brick,” said Olaves, director and head coach of educational and recreational facility swimming and diving.
SGA Senate President-elect Bernard Jackson said student legislators granted the funds after a persuasive hearing. The money will pay lifeguards, buy uniforms and cover equpment and maintenance.
Despite providing the money, “We have no direct control over hours, employees or maintenance,” Jackson said. He declined to say how much pool operations would cost students, whose Activities & Services fees will be paying for it.
Some students are looking forward to enjoying the pool.
“I like the idea, so the fact that there’s one brand-new-and-running adds to the campus… we want FAMU to look nice inside and out,” said Whitney Johnson, a third-year nursing student from Jacksonville, Fla.
“I think it’s good that we finally have our own pool on campus, and I hope no one does anything to abuse it,” said Terica Slaughter, a third-year computer-engineering student from Jacksonville, Fla.
Up until school starts the pool hours will be Mondays from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
And the fall scheduling will depend on the lifeguard schedules.