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Pool to be Completed by March

Construction cost $8.5 million

By Averi-Alexya Beck
On September 5, 2019

Students, former SGA President Adarian Williams and President Gallot discuss the ongoing Intramural expansion project. GSU Media Relations/File photo

The opening of the campus swimming pool is right around the corner ­— March 2020. 

Grambling students have eagerly awaited this occasion since 2012 when they voted a $25 fee per semester to build a new pool.

 The initial idea to renovate the dilapidated C.D. Henry Natatorium and expand the intramural center originated with students in 2012.

For the past seven years, students have questioned why they are paying a fee for a pool that hasn’t been build.

They demanded change to the building and had a referendum to decide how it would be paid for. The final result was assessing a fee to offset the cost of a new natatorium.

The project was stalled for numerous reasons that were out of the university’s hands. 

One reason was being unable to tear down the building because it is located in a historic district.

“We had to go through the Department of Interior, also with the Louisiana Department of Culture Recreation Tourism with the Lt. Governor’s office, in order to get the approvals needed by them for the Department of Education, who has funded the project,” GSU President Rick Gallot said.

The total project cost is roughly $8.5 million, and it has been financed through the U.S. Department of Education’s Capital Finance Program. 

The primary users of the new center will be current students of GSU, but it will be open to the community for a fee.

Students of GSU, but it will be open to the community with a fee.

“I do envision some community usage of it. As an HBCU in a predominantly African-American community, I think the statistics are pretty clear just in terms of the lack of kids having resources in our community to learn to swim. I think we have an obligation...to provide our community children with the opportunity to learn to swim,” Gallot said.

Though current students are first priority, alumni who paid their fees while they attended Grambling, will be given some type of opportunity to use the pool, though guidelines are not clear at the moment. Coach Terry Lilly, a member of the natatorium renovation board, says that current students should keep in mind that the future Grambling tigers deserve something nice.

“When I was in school, we paid a referendum for the intramural center..never got a day to play in the intramural center. It was really for the people who are coming behind us.”

The new intramural center and pool is expected to open in the first quarter of 2020. Students are encouraged to remain patient.

new center will be current students of GSU, but it will be open to the community for a fee.

“I do envision some community usage of it. As an HBCU in a predominantly African-American community, I think the statistics are pretty clear just in terms of the lack of kids having resources in our community to learn to swim. I think we have an obligation... to provide our community children with the opportunity to learn to swim,” Gallot said.

He said though current students are first priority, alumni who paid their fees while they attended Grambling, will be given some type of opportunity to use the pool, though guidelines are not clear at the moment. 

Coach Terry Lilly, a member of the natatorium renovation board, said current students should keep in mind that future Grambling Tigers deserve something nice.

“When I was in school, we paid a referendum for the intramural center. I never got a day to play in the intramural center. It was really for the people who are coming behind us,” he said.

Given the years of waiting and the anticipated opening of the pool in the spring, Lilly urged students to remain patient.

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