Tulsa School Sends Pool Away With Splash

Friday, April 11th 2014, 11:12 pm
By: News On 6

As many schools pinch every penny and are forced to cut out luxuries, Metro Christian, is draining it's pool, not due to lack of funding, but lack of space.

The pool, built in the 70s, is getting filled in for a new state of the art weight room. Metro Christian is saying goodbye to the pool by going out with a splash.

"Out with the old, in with the new. We're excited for the change that's coming," said parent Sara Pawelka.

Metro Christian Academy parents spent their last night with their kids in the school pool. Pawelka's daughter, Mary Caroline, jumped in for what would be her first and last time.

4/9/2014 Related Story: Tulsa Schools Swap Pools For Classrooms To Save Money

"It's really going to be a big deal for me to see this pool go bye-bye," the young girl said.

Her mother said, "So while we're sad to see it go, I mean my daughter cried when we told her, but we absolutely believe in our headmaster and see the vision for the future."

Two high school swimming teams used the pool, but could never hold a swim meet there because it was too small.

Headmaster Roger Gerstenberger, said, "It was great for our kids to swim in, it was great for our swim team to practice. But from a competitive standpoint, even this year before we got ready for state, we were going to another school to practice just so our athletes had a regulation sized pool."

The pool's age has administrators swapping it out for a weight room. The old weight room will become science labs.

"I have no more classrooms to really grow and expand," Gerstenberger said.

Metro Christian isn't alone, Tulsa Public Schools plans to close 19 of its pools, which will be filled in or become more classroom space.

The swim team at Metro Christian will move its practices down the road to Jenks. The Jenks Aquatics Director, George Villarreal, welcomes any opportunity to promote the sport.

"I think that pools are gathering places for people everywhere," Villarreal said.

The headmaster said the decision to close the pool was not an economical one, but the need to have updated facilities.