Swimmers forced to practice elsewhere amid pool closure

By Shaun Chornobroff

The Rider University swimming and diving team is one of the school’s most successful athletic programs and has called the Coppola Pool in the Canastra Health and Sports Center in the back of the university’s campus home for decades. For the time being that will change, as the pool is temporarily closed due to student complaints and a lack of clarity after testing done to the facilities, multiple sources confirmed to The Rider News.

The pool was officially closed on Oct. 25 after multiple tests from an investigation failed to provide any clarity into complaints, according to Michael Reca, who serves as Rider’s Vice President for Facilities and University Operations.

“As soon as we learned of some complaints about the pool, we immediately started an investigation. To date, our own Rider staff as well as outside vendors/ experts have conducted numerous tests of the pool water, HVAC system and air quality around the pool. So far every test has been inconclusive,” Reca said in an email to The Rider News on Oct. 26. “Yesterday, after reviewing the tests and learning that some of our swimmers were experiencing some discomfort, we shut the pool down to conduct further tests … We are awaiting those results by Thursday of this week. We have also hired another pool consultant, with expertise in these types of issues, who will be coming to Rider on Thursday of this week.”

The swimming and diving team will be practicing at Princeton University, multiple sources have confirmed.

Andrew Smolar, a sophomore on the team said in a text to The Rider News “I was still able to practice yesterday morning. The situation isn’t ideal but thankfully our coaches have worked extremely hard to find a good solution for us. We’re gonna do our best to not let it affect our training.”

The Rider University athletic department said that it has no statement on the matter.

Sarah Siock and Dylan Manfre contributed to this story.

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