Coaches spend hours and hours training kids to get them ready for competitions. Dwight Davis, swim coach, does the same, but when he wants to see them succeed during meets, he can't because he's busy fixing a scoreboard.
"This system died in the middle of sectional diving. It was a total disaster," Davis said.
However, with the School Board's pending approval on Monday, that might all change. With a combination of funds from the Nicolet Booster Club, swim fundraising events and some substantial donations from families, a new scoreboard and touch-pads will be on their way to Nicolet.
The new scoreboard will cost about $18,000, though none of that money is coming from taxpayers.
"The parents did a great job, they worked really, really hard to get all the money together for it," Davis said. "It's getting tough now. When you're a coach, you're also a fundraiser."
Nicolet's current scoreboard hasn't been replaced since the original pool was put in 22 years ago. This analog-style board uses small plastic plates that rotate every second to keep time as the swimmers make their laps. But while every second counts, a stuck plate can mean a real mess.
"It's mechanical, like the old flipper-type alarm clocks," he said. "Even if you turn it on now, you'll see some of the digits start sticking."
Touch-pads are another part of swim races that are also vital to things running smoothly. Many times the races are too close to call standing on the side of the pool. So, swimmers use touch-pads that hang in the water and when a swimmer reaches the end, they touch them, stopping the clock. These will cost about $6,400 to replace.
However there's another reason for replacing the old equipment. While Davis doesn't mind stretching the life of the scoreboard by making repairs, those repairs keep him from watching his team succeed.
"I've had some meets where I've missed most of the meet," Davis said. "I haven't been able to watch the kids swim because I'm playing with the timing system."
The Facility Committee voted to approve the donation and new equipment Tuesday morning. The final decision will be made by the full School Board on Monday at 7 p.m.