Pool Problems

Parkway’s pools are in need of major renovations


Hayden Shaffer

South’s pool is 46 years old. One major issue with it is water drainage.

Parkway South and Parkway in general has a strong history with aquatic sports. South alone has won 3 boys swim and dive state championships as well as a recent girls swim and dive championship in 2022. 

With long sustained success from South’s aquatic programs, one would assume that South has top-of-the-line facilites–but this is far from the truth. 

Girls Swim and Dive coach, Blakeleigh Mathes, explained her problems with South’s pool. “The non draining deck and lack of decent air flow,” were among her concerns. 

Boys Swim and Dive coach, Jeremy Nichols, added to Mathes’ concerns about the pool deck. 

“It doesn’t drain properly.  It’s just not little puddles that form, either; there are huge puddles of water that form on the deck when it’s being used,” he said.

Sophomore swimmer, Jeremiah Koenig said, “The tiles [in the water] often when doing flip turn and turning off the wall you are constantly cutting up you feet and hand, there is also a leak in the ceiling and it makes water and swimming pool unswimable in, and there are many spots on the deck that the water just sits, and the block are a little wobbly” 

Even with the issues in South’s pool, the coaches commented that it is still one of the best pools in the district. 

“I’d say South, but North is a close second. Both pools have great spectator seating and don’t feel overly cramped,” said Mathes. 

With all of the Parkway pools in desperate need of repairs the district considered building a new “All-Parkway” pool that would be shared by all the high schools. Nichols spoke positively about this idea.

“An all-Parkway pool would take care of several issues. First, it would give [Parkway Swim] Club a place of their own to practice. That way, they wouldn’t have to wait for high school events to finish before they could practice. Second, it would give the divers a location to practice without having to dive around swimmers. Finally, it could be all deep with 8 lanes which are better for swimming and water polo competitions,” he said.

However, recently the district recently decided against building this “All-Parkway” pool but instead repair all the pools individually. According to Parkway’s 2022 Facility Planning draft, they plan to recondition four old high school pools and improve the locker rooms as a part of a $76,845,000 renovation plan. 

Swimmers and coaches alike think this will be an improvement but there are still concerns about anything getting done with these renovations. 

“I’m not optimistic that things will get going for another 2-3 years,” Mathes said. 

Additionally, South’s diving board broke in 2019 and cannot be replaced because the pool’s diving tank isn’t deep enough. This means that a long and expensive repair would be needed for the pool to be fully equipped with a diving board.  

“[It’ll take] several months just to fix the deck. It’d have to shut it down even longer if the diving board is ever going to be replaced,” Nichols said. 

However, according to Nichols, even if a new pool isn’t being built for all the Parkway high schools, the repairs to the existing pools are a step in the right direction toward having a better aquatic facility at South.  

“I sincerely hope the renovations which take place make coming to the pool a more enjoyable experience for the coaches, athletes, fans, teachers, and students who use it on a regular basis,” he said.