With the Clarke Swim Center closed until Dec. 20 for emergency equipment work, some competitive swimmers are making waves.
The city must take better care of the facility, they say, because the center's closure leaves the groups of swimmers with no central location at which to practice.
This reality has hit the thousands of swimmers hard. Todd Krohn, coach of the Aquabears swim team, said that though the city was quick to open Larkey Pool to handle some of the swimmers, Clarke's closure has made practicing difficult.
"Now we have less practice space and less practice time," Krohn said. "We also have cut our popular high school preseason program because we don't have the pool space to run it, and couldn't make plans to start it because we had no communication from the city."
Clarke's three pools closed Oct. 27 after the heaters that service all the pools broke down. At first, city officials hoped the heaters could be fixed, but found it made more sense financially to replace the heaters rather than fix the old ones, said Barry Gordon, arts recreation and community service director. The city had already budgeted $100,000 for new heaters in 2011.