After five years without a pool, Stony Brook’s Administration has decided to close its barely-opened pool, opting instead to build the largest on-campus Starbucks in the nation..
The University closed down the pool for renovations in 2012 and for years the pool room of the athletic center went unused and abandoned. The University finally reopened the pool at the end of the 2017 spring semester, but since then there have been some major changes.
The University expected a huge rush of students to the opening of the much awaited pool. However, after so many years of being poolless, the University had inadvertently attracted a non aquatic student body. In short, Stony Brook students aren’t interested in swimming. Only six students showed up to the pool’s grand opening. Since then, pool attendance has been dwindling greatly..
There is however something else that students want more than aquatic athletic spaces. Coffee.. Stony Brook students are crazy for coffee. And while the university has near a dozen dining locations for students to get their caffeine fixes, (three of those are Starbucks locations) students want more. Of all the coffee locations on campus, Starbucks locations are without a doubt the most popular.On any given day, there are monstrous lines stretching out of Melville Library flowing into the campus bookstore. There are students seen waiting by the SAC for a Starbucks bus that never seems to come. And there is only a small handful of students who are desperate enough to take the hike down to Roth. It was evident that Stony Brook was in desperate need of another Starbucks.
After moving far beyond plans for the expected pool, the administration began planning the Starbucks’ layout. At 8,000 square feet this will be the largest on campus Starbucks in America. The title was previously held by the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, which is home to a 7,225 square foot facility.
In order to staff the massive coffee shop, the Faculty Student Association will be hiring lifeguards, who were previously employed at the pool, as baristas. Thomas Ulgren, one of the lifeguards turned barista is not thrilled about his change in occupation,
“To be honest, lifeguarding is just a lot easier than making coffee. You just pretty much sit around and wait for someone to drown, but baristas actually have to run around and work” Ulgren said.
Sandy Silversten, the manager of the new location sees many positives associated with having a Starbucks staff of certified lifeguards. “Well for starters, everyone knows the heimlich
maneuver. So I’m really not to worried about any customers choking to death,” Silversten said. “I think we’ll probably have the safest Starbucks around.”
While the university has taken opinion polls of the campus community and confirmed that most students prefer a Starbucks over a pool, there is an outraged minority of students who are bitter about the pool’s closing.
“I’ve waited three and a half years for this school to open this pool,” Janice Lindsley, a senior aerospace engineering major and one of the few people to turn up for the pool’s opening, said.
“Honestly, I almost didn’t come here because there was no pool, and now they’re telling me they’re going to close it for a freaking Starbucks? We already have like 12 of those. What the hell Stony Brook.”
The University administration has confirmed that it plans to add a new pool to the redesigned Student Union. University officials said they plan to reopen the Union during the 2019-2020 school year.