HPER Center Natatorium

HPER Center Natatorium
The HPER Center Natatorium, proud home of Wittenberg swimming & diving.

Quick Facts


Built: 1982
First Meet: Jan. 15, 1983
Men: L, 44-69 vs. Ohio Northern Women: W, 84-28 vs. Ohio Northern
Dimensions: 25 m x 25 yds
Competition Lanes:
Six
Training Lanes: Eight
Diving Well: Yes (1m/3m)
Timing System: Colorado
Seating Capacity: 300

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About This Facility

The Natatorium in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Center, built in 1982 and officially opened in 1983, remains one of the finest swimming and diving facilities in the North Coast Athletic Conference.

Built as one unit of a $7.1 million construction project that also included Pam Evans Smith Arena, the natatorium rests between the Gymnasium, an original Field House component, and the racquetball courts. Together, the natatorium and the courts cover 22,000 square feet.

The natatorium sees year-round use not only by the varsity swimming and diving teams and the Wittenberg community, but also by high school and club competitions. The pool is a destination for local teams thanks to its cutting-edge systems and spacious accommodations.

Three hundred spectators can follow the action from the balcony that overlooks the 25 meter-by-25 yard pool and convertible diving well. Eight training lanes running east-to-west convert to six north-south competition lanes to open up the diving area, which is equipped with two one-meter boards and one three-meter board in a depth of 13 feet.

The natatorium features a top-of-the-line Colorado Timing System, electronic scoreboard and public address system. To provide a complete training regimen, the natatorium also houses three power racks, an Olympic trampoline and tumbling mats.

From the balcony, spectators get a full view of a beautiful mosaic tile Tiger on the deck and have a clear angle on the action in the pool.

The natatorium, conveniently located square in the middle of the HPER Center, has direct, on-deck access to team locker rooms and integrated coaches offices, and is only steps away from the training room. Spectators may access the viewing area from the Legends Lobby in the HPER Center, where restroom and concession facilities are also available.

The southern wall of the natatorium was originally an exterior wall of the original Field House, built in 1929.

Accessibility: The natatorium and HPER Center complex are accessible to individuals with disabilities, and the Athletics staff is happy to make accommodations for interested patrons. Wheelchair seating is available on the pool deck. Please contact Hope Creasy, facilities coordinator, at 937-327-6469 for more information.

 

History

The swimming and diving teams have called the HPER Center Natatorium home since its opening in 1983. The first meet in the new facility, versus Ohio Northern on Jan. 15, 1983, also served as the first home co-ed swim meet in Wittenberg history.

A $7.1 million project finished in 1982 as part of the Campaign For Wittenberg added the arena, natatorium, locker and training rooms, racquetball courts and lobby to the existing field house to become the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Center. The project also incorporated renovations to the Field House, where the Gymnasium, Heinzen Strength Center and Athletics Department and Health and Physical Education offices are now located.

Prior to the opening of the HPER Center, the swimming and diving teams competed in McGilvray Natatorium, now the location of the Heinzen Strength Center. McGilvray Natatorium was considerably smaller, with just a one-meter diving board and only four lanes, restricting meets to one team, men's or women's, at a time.

In the Strength Center, six upright bikes and a stretching area occupy several large steps, where the old natatorium's seating once stood. The pool itself ran in front of the seating, where bench and rack, power lift, ground and traditional weight systems are currently located.

McGilvray Natatorium was an original part of the $400,000 Wittenberg Field House, constructed in 1929 as the culmination of the Springfield Campaign, a community fundraising venture by President Rees Edgar Tulloss. A plaque marks the exterior wall of what was McGilvray Natatorium, near a lion's head fountain, on the south end of the original Field House portion of the HPER Center.