Construction work on pool, on Coldwater Canyon, affects sports teams’ practice and game schedules

By Michael Aronson and Austin Lee

The construction work on the swimming stadium and Coldwater Canyon Avenue forces the boys’ water polo team to practice and play at three to four different pools and may change the cross country team’s practice site, Athletic Director Terry Barnum said.

The water polo team will use pools in the Pacoima area, University of California, Los Angeles and Los Angeles Valley College instead of the upper school pool.

The construction will also prevent the team from playing its largely attended homecoming game which ended with four overtimes last year.

“I feel bad for the seniors who look forward to [the homecoming game]and for the fans who love seeing our team play, but in order for us to have a 50-meter pool we are going to have to give up something,” Athletic Director Terry Barnum said.

Utility player Nick Edel ’13 is also dissapointed with the loss of the homecoming game.

“It’s unfortunate that we don’t have a homecoming game this year because of how great the game was last year,” Edel ’13 said. “Nothing compares to a quadruple overtime win on homecoming.”

Barnum also illustrates commute issues that affect the team’s schedule, but he has faith in coach Brian Flacks ’05 to take care of his team.

“We are not going to do anything that’s going cause [the players] to suffer either athletically or academically,” Barnum said.

Flacks acknowledges the issues that arise from the construction, but he believes the long-term benefits outweigh the issues.

“In a year we will have the best facility in the country, and we are going to use this year as an opportunity and not make excuses,” Flacks said.

The pool’s construction is planned to be finished by September 2012; however, the school is unable to begin construction because it has not been approved by the city.

Cross Country Program Head Jonas Koolsbergen and Head Coach Tim Sharpe are trying to create a training schedule that starts after construction has ended for the day, all equipment and trenches have been fenced in and the workers have gone off site.

The team may have to be driven down past the construction site before starting to run instead of just running off campus.

“When school starts, we should be practicing after the construction ends each day so the equipment and the trenches will be all fenced in,” Koolsbergen said. “If we have any concerns, we will bus or drive athletes to workouts in order to put their safety first.”

Running out onto Coldwater has played a major part in the daily training of the cross country team, with many of its workouts starting on Coldwater and circling the surrounding areas.

“We go off campus almost every day to warm up and cool down,” Amy Weissenbach ’12 said. “So I am a little bit worried about how that will affect our training.”