Longview swim club sees pool options dry up
LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Longview Metroplex Aquatics has been teaching people how to swim for years, but they don’t have their own pool, and they are about to lose access to one of the two indoor pools they use in a few months.
Longview Metroplex Aquatics Club President Laura Upchurch said there were three swim clubs in town that were consolidated into a larger one.
“It’s been growing. It started with about 40 swimmers, and now we’re up to about 135 year-round swimmers. Over the summer, we end up with about 150 summer swimmers, plus another 200 learn-to-swim,” Upchurch said.
But, with no facility of their own they “swim at Letourneau for two hours in the morning with high school students, and about three hours in the evening. And then, we also swim at the Lobo pool about two hours, four days a week,” Upchurch said.
Word has spread about the aquatics club, though, and interest is growing.
“Even with those pools, we’re out of lane space and water space. Our team is growing. We have a constant influx of kids, and we’re having to turn them away,” Upchurch said.
Soon, they will have less water space since they are losing access to one pool.
“Now, we’ve been made aware that we will no longer be allowed to use the LeTourneau pool,” Upchurch said.
LeTourneau University doesn’t have a swim team.
“We have a team that is evaluating the current use of the campus swimming pool. This team is considering future possibilities to optimize that campus space. No decision about the pool space has been made,” they said in a statement to KLTV.
Upchurch said there are no Olympic-sized pools in Longview, so swimmers who compete go to Shreveport, Dallas or farther. Upchurch said even before LeTourneau said Aquatics Club access would end in May, the club wanted more options.
“Either a short course or a long course pool, part of it being covered so that they could swim year-round, that we could host large meets. Those U.S.A. meets host three to five hundred kids when they come, and it’s a great economic development for Longview,” Upchurch said.
At present, a large meet can’t be hosted in Longview. They have been training local students who don’t have a pool or coach at their school, but that takes place at the LeTourneau pool. She said Longview’s indoor pool is kept at too high a temperature for competitive swimming, and the Pine Tree pool isn’t enclosed, although that pool has possibilities for summer use.
Upchurch said the club is talking about starting a fundraiser for a facility, but that’s not yet official.
Copyright 2023 KLTV. All rights reserved.