Paris ISD recently bought The Dolphin for the swim team, and the organization is swimming in excitement.
“A new pool is a blessing, something that I didn’t know would ever happen,” Paris ISD Swim Coach Crystal Henry said. “We aren’t a strong powerhouse yet, but maybe one day we will be because our district cares about all sports.”
Since she took over the swim team in the 2017-18 school year, Henry said the team has grown from 10 swimmers to 29.
“Each year our relays advance out of district to regionals, but we haven’t been as successful with individual races due to our competition,” she said. “Our district in the past has included the powerhouses of Highland Park and Lovejoy.”
Paris ISD is in a new district this year – District 13 – which includes Carrollton Creekview, Carrollton Smith, Carrollton Turner, Dallas Highland Park, Lewisville, The Colony, Carrollton Ranchview, Paris, Paris North Lamar, Uplift North Hills Prep, and Greenville PTAA.
“Competition will still be rough,” she said. “However, now that we have our own place to swim, we will have more consistent practices and the room once it is up and running. In the past, we were able to swim in the city pool after Labor Day for about one month. From there we moved to Paris Fitness and Aquatics which we rented 3 lanes for 3 1-hour mornings a week.
“The members there were very nice to put up with us there in the mornings but needless to say 3 lanes and 20 student swimmers was not an ideal situation.”
With the addition of The Dolphin, Paris ISD’s swim team will be able to practice after school instead of the usual 6 a.m. practices.
Tish Holleman, Paris ISD’s Business Manager, said the pool was firstly drained, cleaned and sandblasted.
“We then repaired the top tile and coping and repainted it. We’re now installing an inline heater to heat the water in the pool so the swimmers can technically practice in the winter,” Holleman said. “Somewhere down the road we hope to be able to put some sort of dome over it so we can also heat the air around the pool, then it won’t be so miserable when they get out of the heated water.”
The district also repaired the driveway leading to the pool, installed outside lights and put up a fence near the road.