Pugliese grant funds WLU pool work

WEST LIBERTY – A $49,000 grant from the Charles M. Pugliese and Thelma M. Pugliese Charitable Foundation is funding major improvements to West Liberty University’s pool.

“This grant was a collaborative effort between academics and athletics, and I appreciate the team of faculty and coaches who worked with us to write and secure this generous grant,” commented Keely Camden, dean of the College of Education. “We thank the trustees of the Pugliese Foundation for their support of our program.”

The grant will provide funds for re-tiling, installation of backstop, flags and landlines, new paint and signage for the pool area, pool lockers, storage carts and other pool equipment in Blatnik Hall, named for Albert Blatnik a former long-time coach, director of athletics and chairperson of the department of physical education. Centrally located on the main campus, Blatnik Hall also houses all of the football, soccer, track and wrestling offices, two recently updated academic classrooms and faculty offices for the college of education.

The WLU swimming pool, built in 1956-1957, was home to a nationally ranked swim team in 1976. The university does not currently have a swim team.

The grant-funded upgrades will enhance the student experience and will provide the opportunity for new projects and initiatives based on the experience and background of college of education faculty, Camden said.

“Some faculty have experience as swim coaches, instructors, lifeguard trainers, swim camp counselors and competitive swimming at the collegiate and club levels, so this pool upgrade will offer our students yet another plus to their college experience,” Camden said.