April Fools' Day Story: Improving life in ALICE

A swimming pool will be built at the ALICE experimental site to improve the living conditions of Collaboration members working on the detector upgrade.

The central hall of the Paranal Residencia, which inspired the project of building a swimming pool at point 2.


The ALICE detector will undergo a major upgrade during the second Long Shutdown (LS2) of the LHC, taking place during 2019-2020.

In order to improve the living conditions of the collaborators involved in this heavy upgrade work, demanding long working hours, many of them spent in the underground cavern, the ALICE management decided to invest in some leisure infrastructure at the ALICE experiment site. 

Inspired by the Paranal Residencia, the ESO hostel in Chile with a large swimming pool in the central area, the ALICE management decided to turn the area called ‘the pool' in the SXL2 building at the P2 experimental site into a true swimming pool.

During a meeting of the ALICE Technical Board, the frequent use of the word ‘pool' for this area suddenly made me realize that it is straight forward to turn this place into a true swimming pool' says Werner Riegler, Technical Coordinator of the ALICE experiment. 

The ALICE Technical Coordination team has already made detailed plans together with the CERN civil engineering group for the realization of this project. Construction is planned for late 2018, in time for the ALICE end-of-run party and the following ALICE upgrade work.

'The infrastructure will significantly improve living conditions and will also motivate more people from the collaboration to be involved in activities at the experiment site,' says Federico Antinori, Spokesperson of the ALICE Collaboration.

The pool will be open to all CERN users, with an admission fee of 5 CHF for non-ALICE members. ‘This will ensure that the project is self funded, and the free admission for ALICE members will certainly encourage more scientists to join ALICE,” says Collaboration Board Chair John Harris.

The "pool" area in the SXL2 building at the ALICE experimental site.


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