40 Pools

Celebrating a Big Birthday with 40 Swims

#17: Baruch College Pool

on April 2, 2012

shallow end at BaruchLocation: Kips Bay, Manhattan

Configuration: 6 lanes of 25 meters

Fee: $10.50 TNYA subscription

Total Fees to Date: $139.41

After viewing pool art on display across town, I had a good practice with my team on Saturday evening at Baruch College. The pool is kept at a consistently cool temperature and doesn’t change colors like its uptown cousin. Plus, I always enjoy swimming with my team–particularly sharing a lane with the likes of Hugh, Alex, Glenn, and Cara. (Our numbers were down because a lot of folks were just finishing up a week of outdoor-pool-bliss Swim Camp in Fort Lauderdale.)

I used to swim here much more regularly, back when the lane lines had fluted plastic floats that scraped up my hands when I hit them–something I did (and do) all too often–and eventually I decided enough was enough. The lane lines got replaced with less malicious ones a few years ago, but this pool never made it back into my regular rotation. Maybe that’s because I just can’t get excited about it. Each of its strengths is counterbalanced by a negative in my mind.

The Good The Bad
It’s part of one of CUNY’s highly touted newer (2001) buildings, the Newman Vertical Campus. The building entrance is almost always under scaffolding because its award-winning design resulted in a facade that spills snow, ice, and bricks onto entrants.
Strong collegiate, continuing ed, and community swim programs use the pool. My team only gets to rent out half the pool, meaning we squeeze into three lanes.
Then length is 25 meters, a rarity around here but a standard for international competitions. I’m no good on figuring out my intervals for short-course meters.

And then there’s the ugly: the women’s locker room. The drains are at high points in the floor, making them ineffective at actually draining water and resulting in the formation of stagnant, hair- and scuzz-filled lakes in the lower-lying areas such as in front of the sink and by the lockers. There used to be rubber mats on the floor, which helped, but they disappeared a while ago. If I were coordinated enough, I would use platform flip-flops when visiting here, so as to reduce my chances of contracting Legionnaires’ disease.

If my rousing endorsement has convinced you to visit this pool, you can try it with my team or a few other teams that swim here, or buy a small package of visitor passes. Forewarned is forearmed.

9 responses to “#17: Baruch College Pool

  1. Carolyn says:

    Could you do an update on this post, and let me know if the gummy bear is still stuck to the inside of the window above the locker rooms? I’ve been at this pool twice, and both times it was there, and fascinated me. How did it get there?

    Also, word on those being some bad locker rooms.

  2. Hannah says:

    The gummy bear must have gotten stuck there due to taking a gummy-bear elevator. I’ve gotten stuck in the elevator up from the basement there too.

  3. […] by the time of our visit late in the day the change rooms were pretty much a wreck, rivaling even Baruch‘s for grossness. As seems to be the norm in this country, you have to pay extra for a locker, […]

  4. Vivian says:

    I’ve been to quite a few pools in the city and this one is pretty good by comparison. The locker room, however, is pretty bad. It’s tiny as compared to the size of the pool. 4 shower stalls and one toilet for a pool that is 25m and could be divided in as many as 8 lanes? And even with flipflops you’re still pretty much stepping in water.

  5. […] were surprisingly blasé about the beautiful facility. A trip or two to my team’s basement pools would add to their […]

  6. G says:

    Thanks for the post! I just started grad school there and was excited to try out the pool. Sucks that the locker room is unsanitary though. Do you still visit now? Is the locker room still the same?

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