Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fourteen Tulsa Pools Added to Endangered List

Let's hope this doesn't catch on elsewhere.  Tulsa is decommissioning most of their school district pools.  Read more (with video) here.  Thanks for the heads up, SK!

Pools at Anderson, Hamilton, Lewis & Clark, Chouteau and Hale Junior High have already been eliminated and replaced with classrooms.

In the next phase, the pools at Bell, Gilcrease, Skelly, Webster, Wright and Roosevelt will be filled in.

And, in what's likely to be the next step, more pools at Central, East Central High, East Central Junior High, Edison, Hale High, Memorial, McLain and Rogers will close, leaving only three pools for the whole district, at Monroe, Thoreau and Booker T.

Kind of senseless from a competitive swimming point of view, right?

It's even more idiotic when you consider all the health issues among our young people.  Why would you eliminate one of the best forms of exercise they have available?

Many of our country's schools and municipalities keep their pools on shoestring budgets for years on end, then complain they can't afford repairs when them danged chickens come home to roost.

Deer John Q. Public,

We preshiate yer contributin them tax dollerz fer that purdy new cement pond a while back.

It shore wuz fun wile it lasted, weren't it?

Unforchewnitly, we let it kinda fall part over da years an it needs sum pritty big fixin' up now!

Cents we is reelly lookin out fer yew, are tax payer, we is gonna cut are lossis an just fill er in.


Yer Elected O Fishuls

p.s.  We is gonna need a lil more munny so's we kin pay that twenny man road krew my brothern law runs ta dew dat three munth pond liminatin job.

p.p.s.  Korse, dat'l mean dem rodes mite git a lil ruffer til we kin git em back out der.  Drive kareful!


Kevin Murphy said...

I started coaching in Tulsa in 1979 and remained there until 1986 At that time, most all of the pools were 20 yards by 4 lanes or 20 yards by 6 lane. Those pools were, likely, built in the late 50's or early 60's. Central HS, built a pool in the early 70's at 25 mtrs. All of the main Tulsa Public Schools HS competitions, except for dual meets, took place at that 25 mtr pool (with a bulkhead), on the North side of Tulsa. Jenks HS, a south suburb, built a 25 mtr pool in the late 70's. Union HS, another south suburban district, built a 25 mtr pool in the early 80's. Bixby HS, another south suburban district, built a 25 mtr pool in the early 80's. Jenks, HS just built a 50 mtr by 25 yard, "stretch" pool, completed about two or three years ago.
The Tulsa Public Schools built a "new" 25 mtr "showcase" pool at Washington HS in about 1999 to replace the old 20 yard, 4 lane pool from the 50's or 60's. Washington HS is a "magnet" school, on the North side of town, that was, originally used back in the 70's and 80's for integration purposes. It is still a "magnet" school that offers special programs for the best and brightest in the Tulsa Public Schools from all over Tulsa.
The Tulsa Public Schools have become somewhat of an inner-city school district, with very little measurable success in competitive swimming or many of the HS sports at all, except for Tulsa Washington, the "magnet" school.

The "dropping" or lack of focus in competitive swimming in Oklahoma can really be traced, in large part, to the lack of collegiate swimming at ANY of the public universities in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma State dropped swimming in 1979. Oklahoma University dropped swimming in 1983. Oklahoma Baptist added swimming about three years ago, but it seems most of the recruiting and performance success comes from "foreign" athletes. Oklahoma USA swimming numbers have dropped from a high of about 2700 USA swimmers in the early and mid 80's, to less than 1000 USA swimmers today. No legitimate in-state college swimming potential, no visibility, fewer and fewer quality programs and quality recruiting and coaching, with very old pools, and you have a recipe for lack of interest in the sport.

I started in Tulsa, my Assistant coach swam HS in Tulsa, and the lack of potential in that market, and the entire Oklahoma swimming market, is the reason we left.
However, we both learned a great deal, struggling to be successful as swim coaches, in that very difficult marketplace for competitive swimming.

I am not surprised, at all, with the state of swimming in Oklahoma. To hear that the Tulsa Public Schools are turning their pools into classrooms, is what I expected. I am truly surprised, that given the lack of interest in competitive swimming in Oklahoma, especially Tulsa Public Schools and Oklahoma city Public Schools, that the 20 yard HS pools in Tulsa lasted this long.

Tulsa HS Swimming, Rest in Peace.

Kevin Murphy
Head Swim Coach
Southlake Carroll HS

Colin Murphy said...

Murph! Yes a very sad situation in Oklahoma. I believe they filled in our pool in Moore too. Think it's a cheerleading practice facility or something... That's depressing. There is a new facility in Edmond that is supposed to be very nice, rivals OCCC. Anyway, glad you were around when I was swimming. I couldn't have had a better coach, friend and role model. As long as there are folks like you representing the sport, swimming will be just fine.

Kevin Murphy said...

Colin Murphy was a treat to coach and an excellent competitor, leading off our Oklahoma State HS Champion 200 medley relay in 1999.
He was a great example of maximizing physical potential to out-work and out-race bigger athletes. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to coach him and the other Seniors on that Oklahoma State Runner-Up Team.
We sure scared the snot out of Jenks HS and their coach, John Turner that year!
Thanks for the "shout-out" Colin Murphy!

Kevin Murphy
Head Swim Coach
Southlake Carroll HS

Anonymous said...

Arkansas has no high school pools.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for Arkansas. Swimming is not very big there either. Used to be a pretty nice Men's Team at Univ of Arkansas, Fayetteville, but no more.

Colin Murphy said...

Yes we did! Almost got 'em. Would be great to see you one of these days. Take it easy Murphy!