Loyola’s pool gets an upgrade


Samuel Ufkes

Loyola diver gets in position on the stand in at the pool on September 10. This is the first practice in Loyola’s newly renovated pool.

Jonathan Whitehead, Staff Writer

Loyola has recently renovated and reopened their pool, located in the University Sports Complex. The pool was destroyed last August, during Hurricane Ida, and was under construction, until its reopening on Sept. 1.
But the pool isn’t the only upgrade to the sports complex. As a result of the repair, there is a new hot tub and cold therapy tub available along with the renovations as well, according to assistant athletics director Damali Thomas, who explained that the amenities are accessible by anyone with access to the sports complex, though student-athletes must reserve the amenities with their athletic trainer.
Students, faculty, and members who pay to utilize the gym are also able to use the luxuries and just have to speak with lifeguards on duty before entering the facility to ensure safety protocols are followed.
And now that the sports complex is up and running, programs which recently had to practice off campus are back in the den.
Loyola’s swim team is now able to practice again in the sports complex. Two of the athletes shared the hardships that the team experienced during the year-long closure of the campus’ pool and their excitement of being able to have their practices once again held at Loyola.
Junior and graphic design major Ella Balhoff said that it took about a week for the swim team coaches to relocate team practice after Ida and that their training was held in three different locations; the morning practice was at the Ochsner Fitness Center in Elmwood, and afternoon practices were at Isidore Newman School Uptown. Balhoff also explained that the Elmwood location only has an outdoor pool for the athletes to practice in, and that the heater sometimes broke. Therefore, the team would then practice at St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metairie.
Among this chaotic coordination for their practices during the time of renovations, the question came up of how these athletes traveled from Loyola’s campus to the location of their practices.
Balhoff shared that Loyola provided one 15-passenger school van, which did not accommodate the entire swim team. Students who did not rely on this service had to plan their own form of transportation, such as driving their own cars or organizing transportation with other swim athletes.
Junior and biology pre-med major Eric Potter said that he is happy that the team’s swim meets are held back at the university because, “there’s less prep when practice is held on campus, and it’s nice to not have to worry as much about early morning traffic, or the weather.”