Water to turf will increase student usage
HUGHESVILLE – Students and staff returning to Hughesville High School will find the 40-year-old pool removed and the area revamped to accommodate indoor sports. “The pool had issues which would have been costly to replace. We compared costs with amount of the usage and decided on a change which would benefit more kids,” said Michael Pawlik, East Lycoming District Superintendent of Schools.
The number of persons using the school’s pool has dramatically decreased since construction of the YMCA pool in nearby Muncy Township. “When comparing, the Y pool is new, provides classes, offers therapy and has a more conducive water temperature,” said business manager David Maciejewski.
A three quarter inch padding overlaid with turf will cover the new cement floor. Walls and ceiling will be completely covered with netting. For added safety, walls will have padding six feet high so anyone hitting them won’t be injured. It is expected that all will be in readiness in about two weeks.
Two batting cages are to be installed with hydraulics which automatically move them up and down. “We’re hoping someone comes forward and donates two more cages,” Pawlik said, noting this community is known for its support of sports programs.
What was formerly the pump room, will now serve as a storage room with a unisex bathroom, so students need not be in the hallways.
With a new high efficiency unit for cooling and heating, the project is projected to pay for itself in 20 years according to Maciejewski who also said, “Savings will be $30,000 to $40,000 a year in heat, light and pool chemicals.”
The idea for the newly transformed indoor area is lauded by staff of the physical education and coaching departments as a way to reduce crowding in the gymnasium. “More space means we can have a larger thus safer area for fitness instruction,” said coach Steve Budman. Both phys-ed instructors Jill Warg and Denise Henneman anticipate using the room when outside weather is inclement. Such sports include soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, and hand ball. There’s thought of adding golf to the schedule.
During seventh grade orientations, students will be shown what’s available. “Sometimes it takes a one-time experience for students to know a specific sport is for them, and there’s more opportunity for that now,” Pawlik said.