The pool at Gainesville State College won’t be closing after all.
College President Martha Nesbitt said after hearing concerns from students and the community, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia decided to keep it open.
“They called me and said they’d be willing to give us some extra help on the cost of maintenance, and of course I’m delighted because I know what an asset that pool is both to the community and our students,” Nesbitt said.
The college originally considered closing the pool as a way to cut costs. Administrators say the pool costs about $240,000 a year to operate.
“The only reason we even made the decision to begin with was because of the severe budget cuts and the high cost of maintaining the pool,” Nesbitt said. “I was assured there would be some help, so I was delighted to hear that.”
The pool is available to all students as well as a group called the Laker Society in which members can pay a fee to use the gym and pool. The donations contributed by society members help support student scholarships.
Continuing education classes like adult aerobics and children’s summer camps also use the pool.
Nesbitt said the pool was originally scheduled to close at the end of June, but will now stay open without an interruption in service.
Despite the promised financial aid, the school also will look at potential changes to its costs.
“I think we will be looking at perhaps ways to increase the revenue for the use of the pool, but we haven’t made any decisions along those lines at all,” Nesbitt said. “It would be something we’d have to sit down and work out in the next month or so.”
The proposal to close the pool was one of many proposed cuts the university system unveiled in March to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from its budget. The measures were part of a recommendation by Gov. Sonny Perdue to help balance the fiscal 2011 budget.