Tulane University’s Reily Student Recreation Center, which includes the Reily Natatorium, was closed in March of 2020, citing recommendations from the CDC. In July of that same year, the majority of the Reily Center was reopened with new COVID protocols in place.
The pool, however, remained closed due to “scheduled maintenance” and still remains closed. This means that the Tulane University Women’s Swim and Dive Team have been without a pool on campus for over a year and a half. During that time, the team has had to travel 10 hours a week in order to practice at a temporary facility.
Current Tulane sophomore Riley Hendrix wrote that the pool situation “has affected my entire college experience. I signed to be a D1 swimmer with the expectation that I would have access to top-notch training, coaches, and facilities. I lose sleep, study time, and sanity making our daily commute to pools that are nowhere near up to D1 standards.”
Other programs that are affected include: Swim 4 Success, Tulane Club Water Polo, and the Tulane Special Olympics. The Swim 4 Success program, which is “a Tulane student-run program that provides free swimming lessons to low-income New Orleans youth” was forced to stop lessons in June of 2020, according to a Facebook post on the program’s page. That decision was made during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tulane University aquatics page says that the pool is closed and that “Campus Recreation is currently working with Tulane Capital Planning and Facilities on the renovation of the Reily Student Recreation Center Natatorium and Social Pool. The project is currently in the design phase with the architect, construction, and Campus Recreation team. Due to the extensive nature of this renovation, the pool will remain closed through the 2021-22 academic year.”
In 2018, Counsilman-Hunsaker was contracted to audit the condition of the Reily Natatorium. Their audit stated that the pool “finish, bulkhead condition, air quality and pool water treatment systems were all found to be in poor condition.”
Sources tell SwimSwam that at least one student-athlete has decommitted from the program because of ongoing issues with the pool.