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    Judge’s Comment: “They have a nice mix of amenities and some good features that make the facility appealing to the community. For example, electronic check-in for lessons is unique.”

In some ways, Maggs Aquatic Facility at Salisbury University has a split personality.

During the school year, the facility caters to the University, with scheduling and programs for students faculty and staff. Special memberships are also available to alumni, the Institute of Retired Persons and the President’s Club.

Once summer break hits, the focus turns to meeting the community’s need for learn-to-swim programs, through the Sea Gull Swim School.

No matter when they swim, all users are rewarded with an atmosphere unlike most pools. The 6-lane, 25-meter indoor pool features abundant natural light. Glass windows have been tinted to reduce the glare, and patio doors that open onto a sunbathing space, give it the feel of an open-air facility.

The state-of-the-art fans and ventilation system further help create a comfortable environment for swimmers as well as those in the spectator stands.

As with many educational entities in the down economic climate, Maggs’ budget has remained at the same level for several years, so finding funding to remain up to date has been challenging. But the facility has received financial support from the University Foundation to increase safety and make some general upgrades. The sun patio also was recently renovated as part of a larger campus construction project.

Still, money woes haven’t stopped the staff from providing an optimal learning environment for swim lessons, with an instructor-to-student ratio of 1 to 5. Marketing happens largely through special event programming and word-of-mouth. Community members continually praise the professionalism and positive approach of the instructors.