NIU offers pool facilities for students

By Erin Kolb

When it comes finding a place to swim on campus, students can visit two places: Anderson Hall and Gabel Hall.

The pools can provide a relaxing environment and a good place for people who don’t like to be at the gym, said Mitch Kazuk, a senior broadcast journalism major who works as a lifeguard at both pools. He said exercising at the pools can be beneficial.

“I’d like to see as many people take advantage of the pools as possible,” Kazuk said.

Kazuk said there are a lot more people using the pool this year than there was last year.

Matt Green, a senior business administration and pre-medical student who also works as a lifeguard, said swimming is a great form of exercise. He said he likes the open hours.

“We have two really nice facilities,” Green said. “If people are looking to start getting into shape, swimming is a great place to start because it can be low intensity.”

Kazuk said when he gets to work, he first checks the temperature, pH and chlorine content of the pool. Next, depending on who is swimming that night, he may set up the plastic lanes or flags. He lifeguards throughout his shift and at the end he rolls the lane dividers back up and locks up the pool.

“It’s nice being around people who like to work out, because I do, too,” Kazuk said. “I see a lot of my friends from the Rec here, too.”

Kazuk said one benefit of the Anderson and Gabel hall pools is that they are both open at different times of the day. He said this flexibility is beneficial for people with busy schedules.

Another benefit of working there for Kazuk and Green is that both pools are close to their homes.

“I don’t have to travel much to get to work,” Green said. “It’s a good way to stay involved in campus and overall a good job to have while you’re in school because it isn’t super time-consuming either.”

The NIU Triathlon team frequently practices at the pools. Mike Kanute, the team’s coach, said it practices at Gabel on Mondays and Anderson on Wednesdays.

Kanute said he likes that the pool has good hours because it is available in the evening, which is when most of his team members are available.

“My experience with the pools has been generally very good,” Kanute said. “The pools are very nice and we’ve had good support through the Rec through new equipment.”

Kanute said he is surprised more people don’t use the pools, since pool time is harder to come by in high school and at regular gyms. He said if the pools were more publicized more people would use it. Because Gabel is not an athletic building, not a lot of people know the pool is in there, he said.