SUNY Alfred State is closing its swimming pool at the end of this season and phasing out the Pioneers’ swimming and diving program, becoming the seventh New-York based college swim program to bite the dust this year.
The Division III school’s six-lane pool is leaking large quantities of water, threatening structural damage to the Orvis Activities Center in which it is located. The construction arm of SUNY offered a three-year repair option, but Alfred State’s athletic department ultimately decided against it.
Instead, the pool will be drained and closed permanently when the Pioneer men and women leave for the 2024 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Championships in February.
“Due to structural concerns, Alfred State will permanently close its swimming pool after the conclusion of the current swimming and diving season,” the university said in a statement Friday afternoon. “A professional engineering study has indicated that without a years-long pool facility rebuild, operating the pool could damage the building. Plans are actively underway to facilitate supporting the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Program’s and Alfred State will actively work to minimize the impact on current student athletes and other pool users.”
The timing of when Alfred State’s teams will be cut has not been finalized yet, but recruiting has been frozen in the meantime. Sources told SwimSwam the plan is for the Pioneers to use the pool at nearby Alfred University during the 2024-25 season, which would likely be their last campaign before being eliminated entirely.
The Alfred State women’s swimming and diving team made history in 2020 when the squad captured the first AMCC title ever at the school — in any sport. Both the Pioneer men and women captured team crowns at the 2023 AMCC Championships, their second conference titles in program history.
“Our athletics department has made it seem hopeless to us but our program deserves to be saved and our team is willing to fight,” Alfred State junior swimmer Maddy Snayczuk told SwimSwam.
SUNY Cobleskill also announced they were closing their pool and discontinuing their men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams in August. SUNY Cobleskill joined a growing list of New-York based college swim programs cut in 2023 including Medaille University, Cazenovia College, Buffalo State, St. Francis, Utica University — and now SUNY Alfred State, one of 64 schools in the State University of New York system.