A new, moveable wall installed in the high school pool this week will allow the high school swim team to once again host swim meets.
Due to that prohibit swimmers from launching from the pool deck in water less than 4-feet deep, high school swimmers will now launch from starting blocks in a deeper area of the pool and swim perpendicular to the previous racing lanes.
Because of the longer pool length, the end of the standard 25-yard swimming lane will now be defined by a moveable wall, better known as a bulkhead, that was installed Tuesday near the south end of the pool. The bulkhead is expected to be anchored to the pool wall prior to the girls' next home meet on Tuesday.
Now, Whitefish Bay swimmers will be launching from starting blocks for the first time in more than 10 years, as the regulations prohibited starting block starts in water less than 4 feet deep.
Whitefish Bay swim coach Jim Davis said the starting blocks should lead to faster times for the swim team.
"We were always a little behind on the blocks because we didn't get to practice off the horn on the blocks," Davis said. "I think we're going to be much faster now, and hopefully we will be able to break some longstanding pool records."
Last school year, 's boys and girls swim teams each only hosted one home swim meet because races were required to start in the water, not on blocks or pool deck, as normally happens.
With the moveable bulkhead in place, the girls' team is slated to host five meets this year; two of them — against Shorewood and Germantown — had been postponed due to complications installing the bulkhead. The boys are scheduled to host the conference meet.
The high school also received new bleachers, starting blocks, a scoreboard and a timing system as part of a $200,000 fundraiser coordinated by The Nebbish Society, a swimming booster organization. The new swimming pool configuration also allows for a new bleacher seating arrangement closer to the water, on the east and west sides of the pool.
The Nebbish Society began its , and four weeks later. The fundraiser generated more than $100,000 from the community and another $110,000 from the Whitefish Bay School District for the purchase and installation of the moveable bulkhead.
Other donations came from the Whitefish Bay Public Education Foundation, , the Whitefish Bay Civic Foundation, Duke Pride, North Shore Swim Club, the Whitefish Bay High School Parent Association, parent-teacher organizations from , and and the Shorewood Swim Club. An anonymous donor also chipped in matching funds totaling $50,000.