MIT shuts down its $50 million pool due to bacterial contamination

In a comment response to an earlier blog posting, I mentioned that MIT didn’t provide soap in the showers for its almost-new $50 million Olympic-size swimming pool.  I thought this was kind of disgusting because it means that people don’t take soap showers before swimming (in theory someone could make an extra trip back and forth to a locker, but I haven’t seen it done).  I also figured that if the small town swimming pools on the Alaska Highway in the Yukon Territory could arrange to get soap delivered for their liquid soap dispensers, MIT could too.  I went so far as to email the head of the athletics department at MIT, offering to pay for the soap for the entire gym out of my own pocket and arrange for its delivery (I figured if Motel 6 can afford those little soap bars, I could too).  She declined my offer and said that they aren’t interested in providing soap even if an alumnus pays for it, but asked me to give her department money anyway that they would use for other stuff.  This was just a couple of weeks ago.

What did I see when I went to the Z-Center gym today?  A big sign that the pool is closed for awhile because they have to fix the water chemistry.  I asked one of the staff members and she explained that it was not a scheduled closure:  “The bacteria got out of control.”

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