College to Close Radcliffe Pool to Undergraduates; Claims Too Few Students Make Use of the Facility
The pool in the Radcliffe gymnasium will not be open for undergraduate use next year. Ann B. Spence, associate dean of the College, said yesterday.
Last year the Department of Athletics and the Faculty paid Radcliffe $10,000 to rent the pool and gym floor in order that they be available for undergraduate use when Radcliffe considered closing the pool due to the high costs of keeping it open. Students last year also petitioned the Department of Athletics to keep the facility open.
Spence, who presented the reasons for her decision to the Committee on Housing and Undergraduate Life on Monday, said yesterday that the agreement was intended only as a "stop-gap" measure until the Blodgett pool opened this February. She added insufficient undergraduate use was a factor in her decision.
"Most of the people who use it are Radcliffe affiliates and graduate students and we're paying the freight for a score of users who aren't undergraduates," she said.
Under the new agreement between Harvard and Radcliffe signed last spring, the Department of Athletics returned management of the Radcliffe Gym to Radcliffe. In addition, Harvard assumed responsibility for all undergraduate athletic programs.
Spence said Harvard wants to rent the gym space next year and added the University might use the $7500 allocated last year to pay for pool rental to provide extra shuttle bus service to the Soldiers Field complex.
Radcliffe officials said yesterday they have not decided what they will do with the pool next year.
"Radcliffe may decide to open the pool for our alumni or our employees, or we could charge undergraduates for its use or lease it to another college." Burton Wolfman, administrative dean of Radcliffe, said yesterday.
"Why should we run an undergraduate swimming program when we delegated that responsibility to Harvard?" he added.
Wolfman said there is a strong possibility that Radcliffe may not open the pool next year, but added that the gym would remain open even if the pool were closed. He also said the primary use of the building is for the dance classes and Radcliffe will continue to operate the building for that purpose next year.
President Horner said yesterday she was unaware of the decision. She added, however, "if I were guessing, it would be my guess that the pool would not be closed--it's just a matter of who would be using it."
Adronike E. Janus, assistant director for Athletics, said yesterday there would be more than adequate time available for recreational swimming despite the loss of the Radcliffe pool.
She added, "Radcliffe's is a very small pool which can't hold more than 10 to 15 people at a time it's like a big bathtub."
Students who live at the Quad and for whom the Radcliffe pool is the nearest swimming facility yesterday expressed discontent with the decision.
"It's another slap in the face of Quad residents--it's typical of what the administration does to us." Robert Weinstein '80, a North House resident said yesterday. "We'll probably never get the athletic facility on Observatory Hill and anyway the plan for it does not include a pool," he added.
Spence said yesterday that only a few Quad residents had signed last year's petition. She added she believes Quad students would be compensated if the University expands its shuttle bus service to the Blodgett pool.