A backhoe marked the end of an era Tuesday as demolition began on the Natatorium, commonly known as the pool building, on the Summerville Campus.
Built in 1967, it was home to kinesiology and continuing education classes and the Augusta State University swim team for several years until 2007 when the building was closed due to a leak in the pool’s liner.
The original liner was aluminum. It was replaced in 1997 with a PVC liner, but it too began to leak over time.
The Olympic-sized pool never reopened after 2007 due to its deteriorating condition.
Richard Harrison, former Dean of the College of Education at Augusta State University and former swim coach, led the men’s team from the early 1970s to 1985.
In 1973, the team had a win-loss record of 13-1, according to the 1973 edition of “White Columns,” the university’s yearbook. Team members were Richard Bailey, Pierre Blais, Jim Claffley, Rusty Dunbar, Douglas Fleck, Joe Radford, Frits Scholer, Mike Senuik and Gary Shepard.
“The Augusta College swimming team is unique in the fact that it is made up of local talent. I have trained these swimmers for ten years. Now they are in college, their community college. To me, this is what a community program is all about,” Harrison is quoted as saying in the 1981 edition of “White Columns.”
Once demolition and clean up is complete, the site will revert to green space.
Parking Lot 10 on the Summerville campus is closed due to the demolition.