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Aquatics Center Opens on New England Campus

Aquatics Center Opens on New England Campus

Posted: October 2, 2019

It was a “baptism by immersion” on Monday evening as the students of Thomas Aquinas College, New England, celebrated the opening of the aquatics center in Meany Gymnasium — and just in time, now that the autumn weather has arrived.

  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening
  • New England Pool Opening 2019
    Slideshow: New England Pool Opening

The pool, which had fallen into disrepair since the campus’ previous occupants moved away in 2005, has been under renovation for the last several months. Thanks to the generosity of College Governor Angela (Andersen ’87) Connelly and her husband, Jack, it has now been fully restored. “This was a substantial upgrade of the pool,” says Vice President for Finance Dennis McCarthy. “The pool was completely cleaned and resurfaced where necessary, both on the outside (below the pool) as well as inside and on the deck. We also installed all new pumps and filter systems along with a new electrical system.”

Students have been eager to take a swim and, on Monday, they got their opportunity. At a poolside ceremony attended by students as well as members of the faculty and their families, Chaplain Rev. Greg Markey blessed the facility, sprinkling holy water along its perimeter. Then Associate Dean Thomas Kaiser, joined by Facilities Manager Steve Wiggin, ceremoniously cut a red ribbon that been strung from one diving board to another — before becoming the first to jump in. They were immediately followed many students, including a good number who were fully dressed, who cheered, splashed, and executed some dramatic dives off the boards.

More work remains to be done on the facility, which will honor St. Joan of Arc and will be renamed the Connelly Family Aquatic Center at a forthcoming dedication. In the meantime, however, the pool is now open for use, much to the students’ delight. Future swimming events, including a “Homeric Olympics” later this fall, are already in the works.