Instruction, Recreation and Competition
Work on the construction of the swimming pool building began in 1933. It was one of thousands of recreational facilities built in the United States by the WPA, a Federal agency promoting employment during the “Great Depression” of the 1930s. It was completed in December of 1936, and it was open for use in 1937.
While this was primarily a recreational facility (pool size 80 feet by 40 feet), Coach Luther Poling, Head of the Department of Health & Physical Education, had plans to implement instructional and competitive programs in additional to recreational use.
The swimming pool was open daily from 3:00 to 5:00 for recreational use by college students and faculty. On Saturday mornings, from 10 to 12, the swimming pool was open to school children, and a modest fee of 10 cents was charged to help pay the life guards who would be on duty. Organized groups such as scout troops, church groups and similar youth groups could reserve the pool from 7:00 to 9:00 weekdays. A modest fee of $10 was charged to help pay the life guards and other expenses of having the pool open.
Instructional two-hour intermediate and advanced swimming classes were offered to Concord College students as an elective for college credit. Intermediate swimming was for non-swimmers or beginning swimmers, while advanced swimming was for the more proficient swimmers who would be given an opportunity to receive the Red Cross Life Saving and Water Safety Certificate.
Intramural, intercollegiate and interscholastic swimming competitions sanctioned by the West Virginia High School Athletic Association were also held in the facility. Water Carnivals, featuring exhibitions and demonstrations in swimming and diving by Concord students, took place in 1941 and 1942 before capacity crowds.