Did you know there is a pool at Queens College?
Not many students are aware of the Olympic sized, 25 yards long and six-lane wide pool located in the Fitzgerald Gymnasium.
The Queens College Aquatics Department offers two programs for the pool. The first makes the pool available to students to be used during recreational hours. All students have to do is present their current QC ID and they are given a pass.
Students swimming can use the four lanes that vary in speed, including slow, medium, fast and freestyle. There are 25 certified lifeguards on staff and are always present on the pool deck.
Alicia Lampasso-Dillon is the Aquatics Director and head coach of the woman’s swimming team for 27 years. She is aware not many students know about the facility the school offers.
As a department we try and put our name out there. During club day, we are there handing out fliers. We are a commuter school and that’s part of the problem,” Lampasso-Dillon said.
Students can also take swimming classes for college credit. Three classes are offered: beginner, advanced beginner, lifeguarding and water safety, as well as two scuba classes.
Students aren’t the only ones who can enjoy the benefits of the pool; it is open to the community.
“We try to utilize the pool as much as possible. It’s open seven days a week for the students and faculty. We try to use all the hours we can for lessons, physical education classes, the community, special need groups, the swimming team, and rentals. We cover everything,” Lampasso- Dillon said.
Those 16 and older can purchase a one-year membership for $360 or a six-month membership for $255.
The Aquatics Center offers classes for children as young as 1. There are parent-child lessons for children aged 1 to 3, tiny tots for children ages 4 to 5 and children’s levels one to six.
Levels one and two teach the fundamentals of swimming including backstroke and freestyle. Level three focuses on more advanced strokes and introduces diving. Level four through six stresses endurance.
All classes follow the American Red Cross curriculum and are taught by certified Red Cross lifeguards and water safety instructors.
Shoshana Burns, head lifeguard, has been with the Aquatics Department for 10 years. She understands the reward the pool provides to the community.
“Being able to access swimming lessons is important for safety reasons,” Burns said.
“We are beginning to work with the Swim for Life organization, where free lessons would be offered to autistic children. We are trying to turn it into a course for students who are second education majors might be able to teach these children to swim for college credit.”
The Aquatics Center also offers adult beginner and intermediate classes. In addition, there are semi-private lessons. A woman’s only class is available as well.
“Its important that Queens College serves the community around it. That’s what we’re here for to educate everyone. There aren’t many pools in NYC so it’s our job to serve as many people as we can. Teaching people to learn swim and be safe is our passion,” Lampasso-Dillon said.
All times and rates for lessons and recreational swim are available at queensknights.com/ communityRec/aquatics.