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Campus Recreation


female student swimming laps in pool

Swimming Pools

The USC aquatics program operates two indoor swimming pools and one outdoor swimming pool for members of the Carolina community.

Pool Hours

Strom Thurmond Center Indoor Pool

Interim Session: Aug. 3-12
Monday-Friday: 6:15 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Saturday: noon-7:30 p.m.
Sunday: noon-7:30 p.m.

CLOSED Aug. 13-19

Normal Operating Hours (begins Aug. 20)
Monday-Friday: 6:15 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 8:15 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

Strom Thurmond Center Outdoor Pool

Interim Session: Aug. 3-12
Monday-Friday: 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: noon-7:30 p.m.

CLOSED Aug. 13-19

Normal Operating Hours (begins Aug. 20)
Daily: 11 a.m.-8 p.m

Blatt Center Indoor Pool

Aug. 11-12: CLOSED

Aug. 13-17:
6:15 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Normal Operating Hours (begins Aug. 20)
Monday-Friday: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: CLOSED


Courses and Certifications

Lifeguard Course

This full, 25-hour course is offered in the spring, typically March, during the university's spring break. You do not need to be a USC student to take the course.

Swimming Lessons

Little Gamecocks Learn to Swim is a summer swimming lesson program for University of South Carolina faculty and staff children (or grandchildren) ages six months to 13 years old. Parents must present a current faculty or staff Carolina Card in order to register.

Little Gamecocks Learn to Swim registration will go live April 2 through the USC online store. We will be offering three sessions this year, keeping the three time slots (5 p.m. for parent and child and preschool levels; 6 p.m. for preschool and learn to swim levels; 7 p.m. for learn to preschool and learn to swim levels).


Session Three: July 23-August 3 - limited slots available at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Sign the waiver and purchase lessons

Day one of each lesson will be a swim evaluation based on the Red Cross swim levels for each age group. These standards can be found on the Red Cross website if you would like to start familiarizing you and your child to the water. Can’t wait to see you this summer! 

Adult Swim Lessons

We will be offering adult swim lesson packages for current faculty, staff and students. All classes are private lessons designed around safety and the participants’ personal goals. Times and dates are set between the participant and the swim instructor assigned. Below are the packages offered:

Adult Swimming Refresher Class ($35): a single one-hour session to review skills and safety information
Adult Swimming 4 Class ($110): four class meetings lasting 30 minutes each
Adult Swimming 6 Class ($150): six class meetings lasting 30 minutes each
Adult Swimming 8 Class ($185): this is our best deal with eight class meetings lasting 30 minutes each

Registration will go live April 2 and classes will start in May.

Sign the waiver and purchase lessons

Swim Lessons Frequently Asked Questions 

Who can sign up?

This program is for the Carolina Community. It is exclusively for the children or grandchildren of faculty, staff, or students; it is not open to the public. In order to register, you must have a valid VIP number. On the first day, we will be checking Carolina Cards of those bringing all children.

Why am I unable to choose a level online?

In order to ensure all participants are in the correct class, we have removed the option of levels. Instead, we have added an additional day to the lesson program, making day one a testing day. Through this initial test, we will properly place your child in the correct level with other children performing at the same level.

If your child is enrolled in more than one session, you are not required to attend the testing day. Please bring your child’s achievement booklet so that they can be placed on the first day of instruction.

Review the outline of all swim lesson levels [pdf]. This will allow you to follow the testing and our reasoning for level placement.

Can I register for all the sessions?

YES, there is no limit on how many you register for. They are first come, first served. No exceptions will be made this year once a class is full. 

How will I know if a class is full?

The online registration is real time. If a class fills up, you will be unable to register. We look at sign-ups daily and make any changes necessary to make each session as successful and as many parents happy as possible.

Do I get a discount if I have two or more children coming?  

There is no discount for multiple children. Each child registered will have a $75 fee per class, per session.  

What if we want a specific instructor? 

Please email us your request, we will do the best we can to honor the request. Not all instructors teach all the sessions or each level. 

Can you teach any child under the age of one? 

We offer a parent and child class for all children under the ages able to participate in preschool level classes. The parent will have to get into the water during this class.

What if my child is 14 years old? 

Learn to Swim levels will only be available for children up to the age of 13. If you have another child signed up for a class and would like a 14-year-old signed into a Learn to Swim class, you may.

If there is not another child enrolled in swim lessons, we suggests parents to consider the Northwest YMCA or the Drew Wellness Center for beginner lessons. If your child is looking for stroke development, we suggest a local swim team: Carolina Aquatics, Columbia Swimming, Palmetto Aquatics, or YMCA Mudcats.

Please note: friends of any adult participant do not have access into the facility. 

Do you offer refunds if we decide not to participate anymore?  

Refunds are only given if the decision to drop from the program two weeks prior to the start of the session, giving other parents the opportunity to register for the available spot. Refunds are not given for missed classes or sessions. Any other decisions on refunds will be made on a case-by-case policy.

Where do I park?  

As with the rest of campus, parking is tight. Although there is a lot next to Strom, this area fills up quickly and illegal parking will result in towing. Please arrive early to find parking. We also have the lot across Blossom available as well as the parking garages. 

Can we enter through the pool gates?  

Yes, check-in is at the North pool gates (follow the signs). Please remember parking is tight. Try to arrive 15 minutes before the session starts to make sure your child is ready at the beginning of the class time.  

Will we have orientation the first day of class again?  

Yes. We will have a first day orientation to go over “pool rules” and introduce all instructors. The orientation will be in the Wet Classroom off the outdoor and indoor pool decks. The initial swim test for level placement will take place immediately afterwards.

Please note: if you miss the day one orientation and test, it will result in missed instruction time Tuesday as we test and place your child.

Is there a “Rain Day Make-up” policy? 

Like many programs, we reserve one day for “Rain Day Make-Up.” The Friday of the second week is reserved for this purpose.

How will we know if classes are cancelled for rain?  

All class announcements will be made on Rec Check. This number will be given out on the first day of each session.

Classes are only cancelled for extreme weather and ongoing storms. We will try to make these calls 30 minutes prior to each class starting.

We do not cancel classes for rain; instead, we move lessons inside. If we think the storm will pass, we will postpone the class to start once the storm has ended.

Are there classes on Fridays? 

Due to the initial swim test given on Monday, the first week of each session will have classes on Friday.

The second week of classes meet Monday through Thursday. That Friday is reserved as a weather make up day. 

What should they wear if they are babies?  

SWIM DIAPERS ARE MANDATORY!!!!

Where can we dress our children for lessons?  

There are restroom/changing areas located on the outside deck.

Please do not use patron locker rooms.

Can I bring pool toys? 

Please do not bring your own toys. All lesson equipment will be provided for the lessons.  

Is there open swim time for the kids other than the lesson times?  

No. Children under the age of 18 are not permitted into the facility. If you are looking for space for your child to have additional practice time, Blatt family memberships are available for purchase through Campus Recreation.  

Can I use the facility to workout as my child participates in swim lessons?  

No. Facility usage is only for Strom Thurmond Wellness members. If interested in a membership, you may purchase one online or at the 3rd floor business desk. If found using the facility during swim lessons, you will be removed from both the facility and the program without a refund for the program. We ask that you remain on the deck during swim lessons in case of emergency. 

 

Other Courses Available

  • Lifeguard Recertification
  • CPR Recertification
  • Lifeguard Instructor Course
  • Water Safety Instructor Course

For more information or to register for courses, email Ashley Oswald, Aquatics Coordinator, at oswaldn@mailbox.sc.edu or call 803-777-4694.