Recently, a professor-friend asked, “Why is it that some college staffers stay at SIUC as long as they do?” In part, the answer is quality of life. Everyone finds their own rewards that help make them happy — and for some, it can be power and money. For others, it can be respect from peers, friends, professors, and sometimes, places. For me, Pulliam Pool is one of those special places.
Pulliam Pool is one of those little-known gems that help improve the quality of life for the SIUC community. The pool has qualities about it that are impossible to find anywhere else. It’s within walking distance of central campus and it has a friendly human scale. It’s easy to park, swim and still return to work or class within the lunch hour. This is not possible anywhere else.
There are other qualities of Pulliam Pool that are desirable. It’s an old-school pool — literally. It was originally part of the Southern Illinois Normal School, and the pool and decking are constructed of 1″ square ceramic tile. Not the sterile aluminum of public pools today. It has copious natural light and pleasantly cool water. Unfortunately, the facility has experienced a decline in upkeep in recent years.
With the closing of Pulliam Pools, there will be winners and losers. The winners are those fortunate enough to be granted occupancy in the newly-remodeled interiors. The losers are the current and future swimmers that will no longer have the option to incorporate a lunch-time swim into their day.
I welcome most of the campus improvements that have occurred in recent years, but this is one that I have a difficult time agreeing with. I’ve been a lunch-time swimmer at Pulliam Pool for more than 20 years, and I will miss it when it’s gone.
Systems and Procedures Analyst III