Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

January 21, 2013

Officials: NSU pool to remain closed

TAHLEQUAH — Officials at Northeastern State University on Friday announced the pool at the university’s Fitness Center will remain closed until August 2014, when renovation of the entire facility is expected to be complete.

The news angered and disappointed Tahlequah Boys & Girls Club USA Swim Team Coach Bob Bradshaw, who feels NSU is neglecting the needs of the community.

“To be honest, I don’t think neither the city nor NSU understands the effect [this announcement has] on the team,” said Bradshaw. “This is a year-round program, and we have committed kids.”

After the pool closed in September, NSU officials indicated they might reopen it with a separate entrance while the rest of the facility was being renovated. But on Friday, university administrators confirmed that after lengthy deliberation with the Division of Operations and the project architect, they decided to keep the pool closed.

“The university is concerned about the uncertainty of the water quality, safety of patrons, additional costs and numerous issues involved with bringing students and patrons into a construction zone,” said Tim Foutch, NSU vice president for operations.

The pool closed after a state inspection indicated that eventually, the pool surface needed to be repainted and the deck repaired. Lifeguard stations, 911 access and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance were also declared inadequate, according to university officials.

NSU officials said they had planned to delay addressing those issues until the overall remodeling project began in 2013, but a patron complaint to the state health department spurred them to act immediately.

Bradshaw said he has yet to secure a commitment from NSU that his team will be allowed to practice in the facility when it reopens, and tht’s what bothers him the most.

“It aggravates me that NSU, especially after this tax thing, is not willing to consider the needs of the community over the desires of NSU. They’re just focusing on that other [multipurpose] facility, and have put the Fitness Center on the back burner. They’re just ignoring this youth program. I can’t even get a return phone call from NSU.”

Bradshaw was referring to the city sales tax measure passed Jan. 8 by Tahlequah voters for infrastructure improvements. NSU will receive $1.5 million from that package to expand the mulitpurpose center, which is currently under construction.

Bradshaw believes the pool could be reopened for the sole use of the swim team, as NSU faces no possible liability for the youngsters’ health or well-being.

“All of our kids are totally insured at $1 million per child, and all of our coaches have had extensive training as lifeguards, in CPR and first aid; otherwise, we would not have received the USA Swim Team designation,” said Bradshaw. “There is no  liability at all on the part of NSU.”

Since the pool closed, the team has been practicing at various other sites, most recently at Maryetta School near Stilwell.

Parents are responsible for providing transportation two days per week to the practice sessions, and the team’s membership has dropped from 44 to 19.

“But our kids are committed,” said Bradshaw. “They’re competing against swimmers who are practicing two to three hours a day, five days a week. At our last meet, we had a bunch of kids place in every event in which they entered. Sydney Taylor broke the state record in the 50-meter backstroke, and was off by [hundredths of a second] in setting two other state records. We have kids who could swim on other teams, but are coming from Fort Gibson and Muskogee to be part of our team.”

Bradshaw said the team has also raised funds to provide lane ropes and starting blocks at the NSU pool, and has hosted fundraisers to bring in experts like Mark Spitz to help the team.

“All of the lane ropes, which cost $500 each, were purchased by our team through fundraisers,” said Bradshaw. “The two starting blocks, which cost $1,000 each, were also purchased through fundraisers. Our kids raised $7,000 in two weeks to get Mark Spitz to come here. Boys & Girls Club pitched in the other $5,000. The community didn’t pay for one dime of it.”

Bradshaw, who volunteer s his time for B&GC, said he will continue to fight to keep the team alive.

“I’m dedicated to making this program work for the kids,” he said. “They show up, they put in the work, and I’m going to work for them.”

The $5 million renovation-expansion of the Fitness Center will require the relocation of fitness center equipment, intramural programs and classes during the construction.

More information about temporary facilities and renovation and expansion timetables should be announced by mid-March, according to university officials.

Jerry Cook, interim executive director of university relations, said NSU is committed to providing safe and modern facilities for students and community patrons.

“We regret the major interruptions in service these upgrades and renovations create,” said Cook. “[But] when the pool and Fitness Center re-open, we anticipate everyone will appreciate the significant investment NSU is making at our Tahlequah campus.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

  • SR-WalkaMile1.jpg Walk a Mile 2014

    Men squeezed into feminine footwear Saturday by the hundreds to walk in solidarity with women on the issue of sexual violence – and their clop-clop-clopping echoed down Muskogee Avenue.
    The fourth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” brought men to Norris Park, accompanied by their enthusiastic female supporters, to walk – and often wobble – in high heels over a mile-long course to raise funds for Help-In-Crisis.
    “It hurts every year,” said John Christie, a Sequoyah High School student participating in his third Walk a Mile. “I get home, sit down, blisters come up and the calves hurt. But it is worth it. It’s for a good cause.”

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • adams-christopher.jpg Michigan man gets 13 years on plea to rape, sodomy of girl

    A 28-year-old Michigan man will spend about 13 years in an Oklahoma state prison after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of sodomy involving a 13-year-old girl.
    Christopher Dale Adams, of Lake Orion, Mich., received a 13-year prison sentence for each of the five charges, to be followed by seven years suspended. All sentences will run concurrently.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • logan-amy.jpg Police take down pair on pot distribution charge

    Tahlequah police officers arrested a pair Sunday night for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
    Tahlequah Officer Cody Warren said police were asked to investigate when 35-year-old Amy N. Logan, of Tahlequah, allegedly took a family member’s car without permission.
    While Warren was speaking with the owners of the vehicle, Logan arrived along with 26-year-old Theoplilus James Mollie, of Tulsa.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • land-lisa.jpg Two nailed with meth, pot hidden in bag of chips

    Two people were arrested early Monday morning when Tahlequah police stopped a vehicle near Basin Avenue and found methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in a bag of chips.
    Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he noticed a Nissan heading north on Park Hill Road, and the vehicle later stopped in an intersection.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Stocks