By Hailey Hensley
Rider has recently begun extensive renovations to the Richard A. Coppola pool which are to be completed over the summer 2019.
The renovations include a new pool deck and basin, upgrades to the filtration system, an entirely new drainage system and new dive stands.
“The newly-added gutters will lead to better water flow and less waves, making for a faster pool,” said senior sports management major and swimmer Lucas Musselman.
Musselman said he is looking forward to the improvements to the air quality in the pool facilities.
“Good air quality is something that most pool facilities struggle to maintain, so this improvement will help our program significantly,” he said.
According to Michael Reca, vice president of facilities and university operations, the Richard A. Cappola pool is over 50-years-old and was originally built, not for athletics, but for a much different use.
“[The pool] was built as a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) pool for the ROTC program here back in ’60 something,” Reca said. “There were some minor renovations over the years but nothing as in-depth as we’re doing.”
According to a press release on Rider’s website, the renovations are expected to cost around $1.5 million. A gift of $700,000 was donated for the renovations by alumni Wayne Canastra ’72 and Jill Canastra ’72.
Reca said that Canastra was not involved with the renovation plans.
“He was happy that he could help the pool program and the varsity swim team and all those things but he has not been actively involved,” said Reca.
The pool was drained at the end of the swimming and diving 2019 season, according to Reca.
Though the pool is used frequently for the athletics department, Reca said the swimming and diving team was only part of the reason for the renovations.
“The pool is not just for the athletic department, the pool is for recreational swim and also has the ability to be rented to outside organizations to drive revenue,” Reca said.
The renovations are expected to be completed by June 21.
The student swimmers and divers are excited for the renovations.
“We are very grateful that the athletic department is granting us the opportunity to have a better and more updated facility,” Musselman said.
However, despite the buzz surrounding the ongoing renovations, Musselman said that is not the only thing required for the continued success of the swimming and diving team.
“Hard work is the real determining factor of success, so the team still has work to do regardless of the renovations,” Musselman said.