A 10-month renovation came to a refreshing end as Lakehead Athletics hosted a Grand Re-Opening Celebration and Open House last June at the revitalized C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse swimming pool.
President Fred Gilbert, LUSU President Dave Grad, Athletics Director Tom Warden, and Professor Nancy Luckai were on hand for an official ribbon cutting ceremony and subsequent tour of the refurbished 39-year-old building. Grad, an avid swimmer, capped the ceremony with a spirited front crawl and in-pool ribbon cutting.
“It’s great to see a facility like the pool open to students and the public again,” he said. “Lakehead students, community members, faculty, and staff worked hard to keep the pool at Lakehead, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see that collectively we could make a difference.”
The three-stage renovation project began last August following the LUSU-orchestrated “Save the Pool” campaign during the 2007-08 school year. In a Student Union referendum that concluded on April 4, 2008, 1,589 Lakehead University students voted overwhelmingly in favor of paying an additional $15 per semester to cover the $1.3M needed to refurbish the facility’s pool, change rooms, and reception area. Overall, 77% of voters supported the rehabilitation of the facility, which faced eventual closure due to accumulating deferred maintenance needs. Richard Longtin, former LUSU President now Manager of Alumni Relations, led the Student Union during the “Save the Pool” campaign.
“Two years can bring quite a bit of change,” said Longtin. “The students, faculty, and staff of Lakehead University should be proud of the dedication and ownership they displayed in preserving this much-needed facility.”
Changes to the Fieldhouse are extensive and include a new roof, redesigned changing rooms, a refinished pool deck, poolside barrier-free changing rooms, a new bulkhead, additional security cameras, and a new reception area on the main floor.
For more information about the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse facilities and services, visit www.thunderwolves.ca.