CSM Newsroom

CSM Addresses Status of the La Plata Campus Pool

July 25, 2023

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) announces that it remains open to continued conversations with state and county leaders to find a viable solution to address the community’s interest in having an aquatic facility in Charles County. CSM permanently closed its La Plata Campus indoor pool in March 2021.

“We hear our community asking questions about the status of the pool and are happy to give an update on our ongoing conversations with multiple stakeholders,” explained CSM President Dr. Yolanda Wilson. “Discussions about the possibility of the La Plata Campus pool reopening surfaced in November 2022 prior to my arrival as president. In January 2023, CSM’s leadership team continued the dialogue with the Southern Maryland Delegation and members of Charles County Board of County Commissioners – specifically about the obstacles involved with reopening our 50-year-old pool. During this time, we provided our stakeholders with a feasibility study that offered three reopening proposals. One option involved repairing the current pool, and the other two proposals offered repairing and expansion options.”

The feasibility study showed that the pool needs significant repairs, she continued. It revealed that there were 19 areas of safety concern, including significant cracking in the pool shell plaster, expired drains, and replacement requirements for the circulation pump and chlorinator system. The cost for renovations and to address these safety concerns is estimated at $2.4 million. Capital costs associated with expanding the current pool into a more modern facility to meet the needs of a growing multi-generational and diverse community could extend to nearly $18 million. In addition, the ongoing operating costs are estimated between $350,000 to $500,000 per year based on the type of facility and community usage.

Wilson added that CSM appreciates the $1 million funding that was allocated from a legislative bond initiated by Sen. Arthur Ellis as part of House Bill 201 in the last legislative session. Upon learning of the appropriation, college leaders met with Ellis, as well as Southern Maryland Delegation Chairwoman Delegate Edith Patterson, Charles County Commissioner President Reuben Collins and Commissioner Thomasina Coates, and Charles County Recreation, Parks & Tourism Department Director Kelli Beavers and Deputy Director Sam Drury to discuss the intent of the funding.

 “In that meeting, we explained that the repair and continued operation of the pool requires a multi-million-dollar investment – and it is a venture that CSM cannot afford nor sustain,” explained Wilson. “Our elected officials shared that they would explore all options available to them, and get back to us if there are next steps. We greatly appreciate their efforts to collaborate with us and to keep us abreast of their intentions.”

The La Plata Campus Physical Education (PE) Building – which houses the pool – was closed, along with all CSM campus buildings in March 2020 because of the global pandemic. In spring of 2021 – as a result of a broader building assessment, and a review of customer usage that showed decade-long declining pool patronage – CSM made the difficult decision to permanently close the pool.

In addition to the major repair, maintenance, and safety issues with the pool, the assessment of the PE Building documented the need to replace the majority of the building’s HVAC system, replace the roof, and upgrade critical electrical systems. Over the past two years, the PE Building has undergone a significant renovation. The investment supports the college’s student athletes and coaching staff participating in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference and the National Junior College Athletic Association – which includes CSM athletic programs for women’s basketball, softball, soccer and volleyball; and men’s baseball, basketball, soccer and golf.

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