Muir’s pool was built in the 1950’s. It’s over 70 years old, and it shows. Pool surface degradation, a cracked deck, crumbling tiles, and an outdated pool maintenance/filtration system leaves our pool one of the worst in the area. Our goal is to have a Regulation pool built at Muir for our future and the future of the PUSD.
By Leigh Ann Samuel
Back in the 1990s, the Muir coaches and community realized that their pools needed to be updated. At the time, the pools were 40 years old and surrounding districts were rebuilding their pool facilities. Supporters and coaches at Muir hired a professional to design plans, and submitted them to the PUSD Board of Education. The story goes that the district had the money to proceed, but voted the plans down. I can only imagine what investing in Aquatics at that time would have done for our schools and community. Here we are over 30 years later…
The PUSD district does not have one pool facility that complies with CIF regulations for Water Polo or Swim. We are not able to host any CIF playoff games or CIF qualifying swim meets within PUSD. Muir ran into this issue last year during the Boy’s water polo CIF playoffs when we were required to host two of the games. PUSD had to rent the Rose Bowl Aquatics facility for one game and Glendale High School’s for the other.
Muir’s Aquatics program has grown over the last few years with 32 boys on the Water Polo team this fall, and a strong girl’s Water Polo team with 25 players, who also made it to CIF playoffs last year. The Swim Team had over 60 students, of which 10 swimmers competed in CIF finals (placing 7th overall in our division) and one inaugural paralympic swimmer competed at State Championships!
These are no small feats, and are in part due to a dedicated coaching staff who is invested in our homegrown talent and is dedicated to seeing our programs thrive for years to come. Muir’s athletes deserve a pool that matches their talents and efforts and reflects the accomplishments they have already achieved.
There are examples of successful pools in our neighboring districts. Arcadia H.S. has a great facility and is used to host Pacific League finals for both water polo and swimming. Additionally, their pool is rented for a local swim club, which generates income. Glendale HS finished building their pool a few years ago and has figured out a schedule to share the new facility with Hoover HS and Crescenta Valley HS until they rebuild pools at those schools. South Pasadena HS updated their pool years ago and has been able to have good aquatics programs for their school and community along with renting out the pool to Rose Bowl Aquatics Center as a practice pool.
We have used up all the “band-aids” for the pool facility at Muir. It’s time to invest in our students and the future of Aquatics in PUSD. The truth is, it would be great to have pools in the district that support all our students, but we need to start somewhere, and Muir is way past due!
Leigh Ann Samuel is a public school activist, a Muir Swim Coach and a LAUSD teacher.
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