Aquatics center construction set to begin

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Aquatics center construction set to begin

Construction will begin in coming weeks on a $7.5 million swimming and diving complex at California State University, Fresno. Bids on the construction project will be opened Monday, Feb. 8.

Site work is under way to relocate and prepare utilities for the project. The aquatics center should be completed in September, in time to be used for classes and by the Bulldog swimming and diving team for 2010-11 competition.

The centerpiece is a multi-use pool with a movable bulkhead that will allow various configurations, including 8 lanes for long-course swimming and 19 lanes for short-course swimming. There is also a pool dedicated for use by students in the Kinesiology Department and a small “warm pool” for divers to stay warm between dives.

Diving facilities include 1- and 3-meter springboards and a tower with 5.75- and 10-meter platforms.

The complex will have seating for 800 spectators plus home and visiting team locker facilities.

“We are just so excited to finally get our new pool,” said swimming coach Jeanne Fleck.

“This addition will definitely allow us to grow stronger as a program and as a team. It’s an exciting time for our student-athletes.”

Diving coach Taryn Patrick said the diving facility will be “an amazing asset to our program.”

“We will now be able to do dry land training every day, which is a huge part of diving,” Patrick said.

A major plus will be the platforms, Patrick said, because the team’s practice facility at Clovis North High School doesn’t have them.

The center was designed with input from the Department of Kinesiology, whose chair, Dr. Michael Coles, said it will serve as “a quality aquatics teaching venue.”

This semester, more than 200 students are enrolled in aquatics-related classes including swimming for beginners, water aerobics, lifeguarding and classes related to aquatics theory and practice, said Coles.

“The hope is that, as the overall budget improves, we will be able to expand our aquatics class offerings so an even greater number of students can learn about aquatics theory and enjoy the program’s health and fitness related benefits,” he said.

The project is funded by $3 million in California State University capital renewal funds and a $4.5 million loan from the CSU Risk Management Authority, the CSU’s self-insurance program.

Campus consulting architects Taylor Teter Partnership designed the complex.

The center will be constructed just east of Bulldog Diamond on the south side of Barstow Avenue.

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