In 2008, the outdoor 50-meter pool at the MHCC Aquatic Center was not up to FINA specifications for major swim meets. The pool was too shallow for diving starts on one end, and did not have a reasonably consistent depth for the entire 50-meter length. In order to bring the pool into compliance with FINA regulations, MHCC needed to deepen it. So, how do you deepen a pool that already exists? By going up! They went up a total of 3 feet, with a concrete pad.
This major reconstruction work required a lot of money, so the pool accepted donations from the public, and any interested parties, to fund the remodel work. Most of the money that was required for deepening the pool to FINA specs, and for adding the Dome, came from the college.
To encourage and honor significant outside donors, the college decided to offer the opportunity to place uniform “Lane Medallions” on the raised concrete pad that goes around the pool. The Lane Medallions are round metal plaques, about 16 inches in diameter, placed at the end of each lane, in both short course and long course directions. Each Lane Medallion has the name of a swimmer, swim family, or swim-related organization. Donated funds go into a general fund for the MHCC Aquatic Center.
If you walk around the pool and look carefully, you will see Lane Medallions honoring at least five OMS swimmers: former MHCC Aquatic Director Mike Popovich, long-time MHCC swimmer Gil Young, OMS Board member Stephen Darnell, long-time OMS and USMS leading volunteer Sandi Rousseau, and International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame member Willard Lamb. Willard was also honored for his stellar swimming achievements.
The Lane Medallions that honor OMS swimmers are pictured above.