The Jul Gernes Pool was built in 1994 and, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the swim and diving coach and maintenance staff, has been kept in excellent condition ever since.
The Jul Gernes Pool underwent its first major renovation during this past spring and summer. Preparations began in mid-April, when the pool was drained following the last water polo game.
When the lining of the pool began to flake off two years ago, Maintenance Director of Physical Plant John Schollmeier made some calls to a few pool experts.
“They said, ‘Well, yeah, every eight or ten years you have to redo that. How old is your pool?’ I said nineteen years and they said, ‘Wow, you’ve really done well!’” said Schollmeier.
A company was brought in to sandblast the concrete and remove the old tile. A special plaster coating and new tile was placed in the pool, resulting in a fresh, smooth surface.
In addition to the pool resurfacing, brighter lights have been installed that triple the level of light in the room. Unlike the old lights, the new lights do not make a buzzing sound and turn on immediately, as opposed to taking time to warm up.
“The new lights are quieter. They’re brighter, so we can see anything in the morning and we’re more awake,” said lifeguard Andrew Eggersgluss.
Lifeguard Andrew Eggersgluss
The new lights revealed the need for a new paint job and a company was brought in to redo the walls with a special type of paint that is made to last in pool conditions.
“A fresh coat of paint in any facility makes everyone feel good,” said Athletic Director Nicole Fennern.
A more efficient water heater was installed two years ago to regulate pool temperature and the air ventilation system was replaced this summer. In addition, new blankets have been purchased to prevent water evaporation when the pool is not in use.
Summer lifeguards Andrew Eggersgluss and Marit Christianson contributed to the renovation by power washing the deck and cleaning all of the pool equipment, including buckets, landlines, and boards.
Eggersgluss, who is also a member of the swim team, said of the smooth pool bottom, “It helps us not injure ourselves and it just looks a lot nicer.”
Over $400,000 has been put into the pool renovation, according to Schollmeier. This facility update is an example of Saint Mary’s dedication to its community and to its athletes.
Nicole Fennern and John Schollmeier
“You want to go into a facility that looks great. Our pool has always looked good, but when you go into it now, you’re going to see this huge difference,” said Fennern.