* This story was a collaboration between both Kara Funk & Rylee Miller
Many students of Lebanon High School are wondering when it will be time for a new school pool. Sadly, Lebanon will not be getting one anytime soon. The Lebanon pool was renovated in the year of 1967, with little to no changes since. It is a 6-lane pool, keeping Lebanon from hosting sectionals and conference, along with a multitude of other issues presenting themselves within the pool area. Lebanon’s athletic director, Phil Levine, expands on the possibility of an upgraded pool.
“We cannot host a tournament meet because our pool is only 6 lanes and not 8. The IHSAA requires these events to be hosted in an 8-lane pool. We also have no warm-up pool or enough spectator seating to host one of these meets,” said Levine.
LHS’s pool holds up to all of the requirements. It has recently received mechanical upgrades, a new pump system and other advancements. Due to these upgrades, Levine believes the pool to be adequate for its usage at Lebanon.
“Recently, we have added new starting blocks, upgraded the timing equipment, new pumps, new lane lines and new HVAC system. We are not looking to purchase a new pool at this present time. Our pool currently accommodates the size of our school enrollment and participation numbers in the sport of swimming and diving at LHS and LMS,” said Levine.
On the side of Levine, Lebanon’s swimming and diving head coach, Wade Thatcher, believes that there is no chance for a new school pool anytime soon, although it would be a sensible addition to the high school.
“I would love to get a school pool, but it would never happen because the benefits would not out way the cost,” said Thatcher.
According to Thatcher, the only way possible to get a new pool would be by getting more involvement. The pool would need to be booked more frequently and have great amounts of involvement from the community.
“In my opinion, in order to invest in a separate diving well, increase our spectator seating and add two lanes to our pool, or build a new pool, we would have to have a lot more usage request for the pool. The pool would need to be used throughout the day every day of the week. Lifeguards would need to be hired along with a pool manager… Financial help would definitely need to be provided for his project to occur,” said Thatcher.
According to swimmers at LHS, a new pool is a viable investment due to the downfalls of our pool at this point in time. One swimmer, junior Brianna Martinez, sees the benefit in a new school pool as ours is dirty, outdated, and crammed.
“I believe our pool should be updated because the bottom always looks dirty, the bleachers are extremely crammed at all times, and it is difficult to swim while the divers are practicing because there is little room in the pool,” said Martinez.
Agreeing with Martinez, senior Angie Zheng thinks it is time for Lebanon to consider the idea of upgrading our pool, finding more benefits than less in an upgrade. Zheng’s biggest concern is the lack of space in the pool while divers are practicing, along with the lack of cleanliness inside the pool area.
“I think that the pool should be updated in general, especially the lights in the sides of the pool because most of them don’t work anyways. The tiles should also be updated,” said Zheng.
Sophomore Lucy Gascho also sees the benefit in an updated pool, as she will have to use it for two more years. Since other schools have recently updated their pools, Gascho believes that Lebanon should step up and renovate theirs.
“The pool is old and other schools have updated their pools. We deserve it as a team because we came back with a conference win. We need a bigger pool and a diving well so both teams can practice at the same time,” said Gascho.