At last! MIU Pool to open June 1

After being closed for four-and-a-half years, the magnificently renovated MIU Pool — the Cowhig Family Aquatic Center, to use its full name — will finally open June 1.

When the pool closed for the season in the fall of 2019, pool goers looked forward to swimming again in the spring. But spring brought Covid-19, and the pool remained closed through 2021 and 2022. By the time 2023 arrived, the pool and the surrounding deck needed extensive repair before it could reopen.

Thanks to a major targeted gift from Vincent Argiro, past professor of neuroscience at MIU and emeritus member of the MIU Board of Trustees, along with other donations, that renovation work was done during the spring, summer, and fall of last year. 

It was completed in October, just in time for a late season inaugural celebration and ribbon cutting. A few people took that opportunity to chill — literally — in the water for a few minutes.

Inauguration of the pool on October 7, 2023.

Davis Eidahl returns for his 30th year

Pool fan favorite Davis Eidahl will be returning to the pool for his thirtieth year. In prior years he has worked with the lifeguards, taught swimming lessons, and scheduled all the activities. This year he will focus on what he loves most — teaching swimming lessons.

Davis Eidahl and assorted lifeguards.

“I have enjoyed every year at the pool,” Davis says. “I have made many great relationships in the MIU community.  It’s been so enjoyable watching so many people come together to swim and talk and create such a congenial atmosphere. Parents bring their children, we have students and staff and faculty, we have international students from countries around the world. Everyone gets along very well — it’s very enjoyable.”

From fall through spring for the past sixty-one years, Davis has taught biology at nearby Pekin High School. He also coaches cross country running, girls basketball, and boys and girls track. His teams have won fifteen state championships, and he has received multiple awards for coaching.

“Davis taught me to swim when I was seven or eight years old,” said Soren Pearson, director of the MIU Rec Center and past certified pool operator for the pool. “He was Mr. Eidahl to us back then. He has given swimming lessons to hundreds and hundreds of kids and adults. He’s a legend.”

MIU certified pool operator Tom Brooks

Long-time MIU Vice President of Operations Tom Brooks will serve as the certified pool operator, having recently completed the two-day state certification course in Iowa City to prepare for the role.

Jan Harvey will train the lifeguards. A Fairfield community member since 1999, Jan has been an American Red Cross lifeguard instructor since 2015 and has instructed at YMCAs and municipalities in the Jefferson County area.

Sign up for swimming lessons here.