Fresno State on Friday, Oct. 21, dedicated its $7.5 million Aquatics Center, with three pools and diving facilities to be used by the Bulldogs swimming and diving team and the university’s Department of Kinesiology.
Emphasizing the dual purpose utilization of the Aquatics Center, the dedication program included a water rescue simulation by Kinesiology students, and diving demonstrations and a swimming competition by Bulldogs team members.
Speaking at the ceremony were University President John D. Welty, Athletics Director Thomas Boeh, Dr. Andrew Hoff, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, which houses the Department of Kinesiology, swimming and diving coach Jeanne Fleck and kinesiology lecturer Justine McAlpine.
As the Bulldog swim program’s new home, the Aquatics Center hosts its first meeting Saturday, Oct. 22, at noon between Fresno State and Fresno Pacific University. The pools were filled in July and the center has been in use since early this semester for kinesiology aquatics classes.
The center is just east of Bulldog Diamond off of Barstow Avenue. The 926,432-gallon competition pool features 333 spectator seats, eight lanes for long-course and 19 lanes for short-course swimming and is kept at around 80 degrees. A movable bulkhead allows various configurations.
A 68,313-gallon pool serves as an aquatics teaching venue for more than 200 students enrolled in swimming for beginners, water aerobics, lifeguarding and classes related to aquatics theory and practice.
A “warm” pool, which holds 2,710 gallons of water, provides a place for competitors to stay warm between dives.
Diving facilities include 1- and 3-meter springboards (a 10-meter platform tower will be added in the future). The center also has home and visiting team locker facilities and an electronic scoreboard.
A disabled lift allows individuals using wheelchairs and those who cannot safely negotiate a pool ladder to move into and out of either pool safely and efficiently, either independently or with the assistance of a lifeguard.
The kinesiology faculty provided design input. Department Chair Michael Coles said: “The new Aquatics Center provides the potential to expand class offerings so more students can learn about aquatics theory and enjoy the program’s health- and fitness-related benefits.”
The 20-member Bulldogs swimming and diving squad had been commuting to the Clovis North High School swim complex past few years for practice, Fleck said, adding, “Our new Aquatics Center is a world-class facility that is a dream come true.”
Construction began in February 2010 using $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 pool contractor was Western Water Features and plastering was completed by Burkett’s. Seating and the scoreboard was by Lewis C. Nelson & Sons.