William Woods University is expanding its student recreational opportunities, transforming the old swimming pool area into a multi-purpose facility.
The pool in the Helen Stephens Sports Complex had not been usable for a couple of years, due to a leak. When it was determined that it would not be cost-effective to repair the pool, the decision was made to turn the area into something useful.
Since opting to fill the pool with cement, William Woods has held some events in the room, including casino night during Fall Family Weekend and a university auction. The university’s equestrian vaulting team also uses the room to work on various gymnastic moves that they later do on horseback.
One of the more unique aspects of the room is the new rock-climbing wall that is used by outdoor enthusiasts and physical education classes. The wall is12 to15 feet high, with both flat and slanted walls, providing varying degrees of difficulty.
In addition, the university has put in stationary batting cages for the softball and baseball teams, and the room has been used for indoor practice.
Larry York, WWU athletic director, says that more improvements are on the way. Planned renovations include laying Astroturf and installing a winch system that will allow the batting cages to be pulled to the ceiling.
“The winches will allow the area to be converted to a recreational area within minutes,” York said. He explained that the room could then be used by the golf, softball, baseball and soccer teams.
“In addition,” he said, “the area will be used for physical education classes, conditioning type workouts, possibly for dance classes, receptions, special events—a true multipurpose room.”
York foresees more uses for the room, including the possibility of winter badminton, indoor wiffle ball, tennis and volleyball.
The renovations should be completed sometime in November, York said. He thinks the Astroturf, especially, will be a big improvement, replacing the “dusty, nasty concrete.”
The transformation will give William Woods an area that York said “many schools our size will not have access to.”