The YMCA pool has closed thanks to the impact of COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean any more swimming for the residents of St. Joseph, Missouri.
Since early October, Missouri Western’s pool located in the Looney Complex has been used as St. Joseph's new aquatic center, thanks to Missouri Western partnering with the YMCA to allow members to access the campus pool.
At the past Board of Governors meeting, held on Oct. 22, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Josh Looney said he is very proud of this partnership.
“One partnership that we’re very proud of and generates significant news in St. Joseph over the last month is the closing of the downtown YMCA,” Looney said. “With that one of the primary indoor aquatic spaces in this community was shut down for the members. So Missouri Western was able to provide a lifeline here throughout the remainder of the year and with opportunities to evaluate alongside the YMCA going into 2021.”
YMCA’s aquatic courses as well as their everyday lap swimmers and any YMCA membership holders can utilize the Missouri Western pool.
“That was really true to the heartbeat of the pool that was really only exclusively used by the community of St. Joseph,” Looney said.
One group of the community that really utilized the pool has been high school swim teams. These teams get to continue competing with the help of the Missouri Western pool. Looney said this partnership expands to more than just the YMCA.
“We also partnered with the city of St. Joseph who is a prime partner and supporter of the pool to allow the YMCA to come in and expand their partnership,” Looney said. “This partnership started in October, just a few days after the downtown YMCA closed. They’ve had very good reviews from the users there and it certainly extended our pool usage to the majority of everyday, Monday through Friday, morning until evening. So it’s been good to see the pool being used.”
Missouri Western has played a vital role in the community of St. Joseph, and the community of St. Joseph has played a vital role for Missouri Western, with this partnership continuing that cycle. The pool is still available for use of Missouri Western students, and hours can be found online at https://www.missouriwestern.edu/student-life/recreation-services/