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IU Natatorium to begin $20 million renovation project in late March

Mar. 25, 2015

Renovations to the IU Natatorium at IUPUI will begin soon, preparing the world-class facility for its moment in the sports world spotlight during the 2016 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials.

Work will include an enhanced interior design and widening of the diving tower as well as a new roof, heating and cooling system, pool deck, pool filtration, lighting, skylights, bulkheads and starting blocks; new doors, windows and drywall in the east and west concourses; an expanded pro shop; modernized locker rooms; and other mechanical repairs.

IU Natatorium swimming pool

The IU Natatorium is the largest indoor swimming pool in the U.S., with a seating capacity of 4,700 and 1 million gallons of water in the pool. Planned renovations include a new roof, updated interiors, new seats, upgraded locker rooms and improvements to the HVAC and electrical systems. | Photo By Indiana University

The $20 million project will be done in phases, beginning March 30 with the pool scheduled to reopen in January 2017. IU will invest $10 million in the project, and the Lilly Endowment will match the university's financial commitments.

The natatorium has hosted 13 U.S Olympic team trials in swimming, diving and synchronized swimming. The 2016 event, scheduled June 17 to 26, will determine the members of the U.S. men’s and women’s diving teams that compete in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“We are looking forward to seeing a fully renovated natatorium return to the world spotlight,” said Thomas A. Morrison, IU's vice president of capital planning and facilities. “The upgrades to this legendary facility affirm the university’s devotion to all students and athletes, and is emblematic of the university’s commitment to the city of Indianapolis and organizational partners nationwide.”

Since it was built in 1982, the natatorium has been part of the foundation of Indianapolis’s efforts to build a reputation as the "amateur sports capital of the world," and the pool has lived up to its billing: more than 100 records have been set in the pool, including 15 world records.

“It has enjoyed a rich tradition, offering three decades of iconic championships and record-setting performances,” Morrison said. “These renovations will ensure that reputation will continue and grow well into the 21st century.”

The renovation work also will embrace the university’s sustainability goals. Water refill stations will replace traditional water fountains, offering an eco-friendly alternative for water bottles. In addition, every light in the natatorium will be replaced with LED light bulbs, which reduce energy use and offer a lifetime of 100,000 hours.

The IU Natatorium serves the IUPUI Jaguars swimming and diving teams, and is also a venue that IUPUI faculty, staff and students can use for recreation, fitness and instruction. Pool hours will be adjusted throughout the renovation, and an updated schedule will be posted online.

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