Winter Closure of Strawberry Canyon Pool


The Strawberry Canyon pool will soon be closed for the winter. The last day that the SCRA pool will be open is November 1. It will reopen May 19.

The Strawberry Canyon winter pool closure is something that we do every year to save costs on heating and staffing the pool. Our population counts shows that pool use at Strawberry drops significantly during the winter months, so we feel it’s a fiscally responsible policy to close the pools. Please keep in mind that there will be three other pools that will remain open during the winter: Golden Bear, Spieker, and Hearst.

  1. Berkopinionator

    Use of the Strawberry Canyon pool drops significantly during the winter months because the pool is closed. If the pool were open, thousands of people would use it during the winter. CAL spent hundreds of millions on a new football stadium. CAL can afford to pay student lifeguards and should heat the pool with waste heat from their steam power plant. User fees, swim classes, pool rentals, and parking fees offset the costs. Student lifeguards use their pay to help pay their rising tuition. CAL does not have enough work out capacity and this pool should remain open year-round.

    • Eric Craypo
      Eric Craypo10-21-2013

      Hello Berkopinionator,

      Thanks for you comments. We don’t agree that thousands would use Strawberry in the winter if we kept it open. The year before we decided to close the pool for winter, we did careful population counts and the number of users at Strawberry during the winter did not come near the numbers that you mention. It’s true that there aren’t enough workout facilities to meet demand — mostly fields, gyms and areas for cardio machines — but we have four pools, three of which stay open during the winter, which is enough to meet demand. Heating a pool the size of Strawberry is exceedingly expensive, costing thousands per month.

      It’s also true that renovation of the football stadium was expensive. But Rec Sports didn’t pay for any of it. We are an auxiliary campus unit (and separate from Cal Athletics) which means we get no state or central campus money and are expected to earn our own way. We do this, as you point out, by selling memberships, classes, summer camps, etc. We also receive student referendum fees.

      Throughout the recent fiscal crisis, we’ve stayed within our budget, and paid all our bills. To do that, we’ve had to make some sacrifices, such as closing the pool during the winter, when use drops, We think this is responsible behavior in tough times.

  2. joshua

    Id use it if it were open even if it weren’t heated! Closed until May seems excessive.

    • Eric Craypo
      Eric Craypo04-07-2014

      Thanks for your comment Josh. I’ll pass that on to the folks that manage the pools. BTW, we do have three other pools that are open year round.

      • Isabella

        Yes, but these are ones that don’t offer a space to just swim on our own terms- like Strawberry Canyon does. And I totally agree, the pool is closed for the winter, but shouldn’t be closed for the spring. Until May does seem like it’s to long, although what ever works for Strawberry Canyon- we love it so much anyway.

  3. Justin Thomas
    Justin Thomas05-01-2014

    When exactly does the pool open this May?

    • Eric Craypo
      Eric Craypo05-06-2014

      May 19th.

  4. Katherine Welsh
    Katherine Welsh05-16-2014

    I do think that offering three other pools would be great if any of them had the feature that people love about Strawberry Canyon–the open space to just play in the water. I don’t like swimming laps but I love to swim, and I agree that keeping the pool closed until summer, when it starts to get warm in April, is silly. If the pool was unheated, I would definitely still use it, and maybe other people would too.
    If you don’t swim laps, you can only use the pools 6 months out of the year, which does seem unfair when we pay for the membership every month.

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