Wind through the dewy hallways and staircases to the basement of Pearson Hall and find a diving platform as boarded up as the Crypt Keeper.
Once thought to be completed in 1970, the estimated 40-foot platform had yet to see its finishing touches – sheets of wood nailed across the ladder, preventing anybody from going deep.
“The architects and engineers involved miscalculated, I guess, and it’s unusable
since the distance from the top platform is such that, from a safety [perspective], the far edge of the diving well is too close based on the height of the platform,” said Steve Young, director of campus recreation.
“It’s never been used.”
Thirty-seven years since people cared about its construction, the diving board and its components have a myriad of factors keeping it from being up to code. One of those includes the 15-foot-deep diving well, which measures in at eight feet too shallow according to Louis Schoener, a Temple assistant professor since 1992. Karen Conway said she enrolled in Schoener’s “Swimming: For Timid and Non-Swimmers” last year, and had always looked up to the eyesore in search of answers.
“I wonder why it was there when nobody was using it,” said Conway, a sophomore advertising major. “I assumed we had a diving club, or team, or more advanced classes using it, but if nobody is using it, it seems like a waste of money.”
Young said the answer lies in the math.
“You’ve got to figure it would be pretty expensive and pretty time consuming to remove it from the basement of Pearson Hall,” Young said. Just like training for the sport, Aquatics Coordinator Mike Freeman said it’s not just what you take out of the pool that counts, but what you put into it that matters, too.
“Think of the structure and the amount [it would cost] to bring in the equipment necessary through these areas, through such a small portal,” Freeman said. “It wouldn’t be cost effective.”
Steve Wood can be reached at email@example.com.