Pool added to school upgrades

Punyko gets fundings to update the school pool.


Submited photo

The Diving well’s old, rusted pipes lie on a cart in the pool room during summer 2018.

By Pheonyx W, Reporter

With an upgrade of the school, assistant principal and swim coach Bill Punyko asked the school board members for an upgraded pool area as well. On May 20 Punyko met with the Superior school District for permission to raise funds. While the pool was built to be thirty-five to forty years ahead of its time in 1965, it is now falling behind the standards. Punyko is looking for three changes: acoustic baffling, LED lighting and up-to-date starting blocks.
After the meeting on May 20 Superintendent Amy Starzecki gave Punyko permission to start raising funds. He has yet to receive funds from the district. In the meantime he wants to start a public fund raiser in hopes of cutting costs.
“We’ll take any amount for donation, but to get a plaque in the pool similar to the ones at the
sports complex we are asking for $100 donations,” Punyko said.

According to Punyko, most fundraising activities are run through Activities Director Ray Kosey, Punyko’s fundraiser will not. Due to the fact that he is looking to raise a large amount of money and some of the upgrades are supported by the District, Punyko said that the District needs to be incorporated into the loop. In this way they might be able find more ways to help with the funds.
Work on the diving well has already occured over the last summer and was finishes in Sep. Those who have already seen the pool might have noticed the different colored-white and blue- tiles on the floor. This is due to the construction already done from last summer. Along with pulling pipes, Punyko directed $7,000 to be spent on new diving boards from the swim team’s personal budget. They also replaced the dive well’s rusted pipes with new ones.

“I think it’s not just the swim team’s responsibility. I think the school district and the fire department also should share their expenses,” Punyko said.
While the acoustical paneling and starting blocks are for the swim team, the diving board is used by the swim and dive team, the fire department and the gym classes when they have their swim classes.

Punyko’s requests are driven by safety. For example, anyone who has used the SHS pool will notice echoes that make it hard to hear. This makes it difficult for coaches to give direction and announcers to call out events during swim meets. In the event of an emergency, it would be hard to organize help. The baffling needed to fix this is estimated to cost around $25,786.

According to Punyko the new LED lighting goes towards meeting new pool guidelines. Lights should no longer hang above the pool, but be around the perimeter. This will help swimmers see better while not endangering them. It can also cut down the school’s energy bills.

The light difference between the school hallways and in the pool had been described as “walking into a cave” by Punkyco and others.

With the new lighting, the difference in brightness should be more balanced and help eyes adjust quicker. The lights are estimated to be around $19,493 the cheapest item in Punkyo’s wishlist.

Punyko also wants to get eight new starting blocks, estimated to cost around $4,000 each , without installation costs, and $38,286 in all. The starting blocks currently in the pool area are old and in danger of failing. The new starting blocks Punkyo seeks will benefit the team’s safety and performance.

“Two years ago… a boy on the outside lane did his start [and] he slipped completely off the block. He did a belly flop into the water and had to race with a dead start,” Punyko said.

The total cost for pool updates is estimated to be around $85,000. To cut these expenses, Punyko has sought to hold a fundraising campaign similar to the ones used to save money for the NBC Sport Complex. Along with this, he hopes to sign up for a grant though the Packers Foundation next year. He plans to create a site where people can give in different amounts. To do this he first needs to set up the online donation site that is yet to be determined.

“All I can say is stay tuned,” Punyko said.