Many Sault Residents Upset With LSSU’s Decision to Close Pool

Lake Superior State University has decided to close their community pool in part to meet Title IX regulations and renovate the Norris Center.

The school plans to build a volleyball court over the pool, renovate locker rooms, add bleachers and even make space for e-sports.

But the pool is one used by the Sault community as well and the decision to close has upset many.

“This is where my kids learned to swim, we love coming over here, we love spending time here,” Steve Habusta, said.

Steve Habusta is the swim and dive coach at Sault Area High School.

He drafted an online petition to the university that has nearly 1000 signatures.

“This pool is the only pool in our community that offers community programming, so it fundamentally important this pool stays operating, for the future of our youth in this area,” Steve said.

Steve says the pool is not just for recreational fun, but its there where they hold swim-lessons.

“The number two cause of death among youth is drowning, we live in a community surrounded by water, our community is passionate about paddle sports and recreational sports and using our natural water ways and learning to swim goes hand and hand with that,” Steve, added.

Stacey Swanson used to be the manager at the Norris Center and feels the same way.

“I’ve lived in Sault Ste. Marie all my life, I’ve grown up swimming here, my kids have grown up swimming here, I worked here for several years, kind of has a special place in my heart,” Stacey, said.

The plan is to close the pool at the end of July and then fill it up with cement.

Even with concerns from many of the people that live around this area, the school says it will only change the school and the community for the better.

“A flourishing Lake State is the best thing that can happen for the Eastern UP,” Dr. Peter Mitchell, said.

LSSU President Dr. Peter Mitchell says it would cost $1,000,000 to renovate the pool up to their standards.

So the pool will close.

“Now that this has been decided I think the next step candidly is to look at what else can be done to solve this problem,” Dr. Mitchell, explained.

“If we have a combination of public, private support, some creativity that may be able to address this in a new and exciting way,” he added.

But people like Steve and Stacey are not giving up hope to get the Norris Center pool back.

“I keep hearing people say it’s a done deal, until I see a cement truck backing up to that doorway I don’t think it’s a done deal,” Steve, said.