The West Pool at the Hearst Gym will remain closed through the fall semester because of a damaged column in the Hearst Gym, according to an email from Berkeley Recreational Sports, or Berkeley Rec Sports.
In early August, a portion of a building column in the Hearst Gym fell off at the West Pool. No injuries were reported. The West Pool was initially closed for several days to address the issue, but the other exercise spaces in the gym remained open. The pool will remain closed all semester for the facility to further assess the structural integrity of the building.
“Me and my friend actually used a small pool right next to the women’s locker — there was no one there except us. … I felt glad that I wasn’t in the West Pool when the column fell,” said campus sophomore Jooeun Grace Jang.
Because the pool will remain closed, the Aqua for Women classes held by Berkeley Rec Sports, will also be canceled for the remainder of the semester. Instead, they will offer additional sessions of the class at Strawberry Canyon Pool on Saturdays until Oct. 20, according to Berkeley Rec Sports.
According to the Berkeley Rec Sports website, Hearst Gym has three pools, one of which — the North Pool — is open for lap swimming. Before the column fell, the West Pool was open for instructional classes only.
The new developments should not affect the lap swim schedule at Hearst North Pool, Berkeley Rec Sports said in an email.
“I use the Hearst North Pool for lap swims sometimes in the morning to de-stress. I didn’t even know that there was a Hearst West Pool, but I think it’s a good idea for Berkeley Rec Sports to close down the pool to make sure that the pool users are safe,” said campus sophomore Linda Vu.