Courtesy: Bucknell Athletics
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Kinney Natatorium, one of the centerpieces of the Kenneth G. Langone Athletics and Recreation Center, has provided Bucknell with one of the finest aquatics facilities in the northeast since its opening in the fall of 2002. Now, an anonymous alumni couple has generously pledged a $1.65 million gift to provide significant enhancements to Kinney Natatorium. The project will begin immediately with full completion expected before the start of the Fall 2025 semester.
The home of the Bison men’s and women’s swimming and diving and water polo teams, Kinney Natatorium has played host to numerous major events over its first two decades, including the 2005 NCAA Men’s Water Polo Final Four and an exhibition game featuring the U.S. Women’s Water Polo National Team. Bucknell hosts the Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships on a biannual basis and is also a regular host of conference championships in men’s and women’s water polo. Since 2005, Kinney Natatorium has been the annual home of the PIAA State Swimming Championships, a weeklong high school event that brings in thousands of competitors and spectators while providing a significant impact on the local economy.
“Bucknell has a long and storied history of success in swimming, diving, and water polo, and we are proud to provide our current student-athletes with a first-class facility in which to train and compete every day,” said vice president for Athletics and Recreation Jermaine Truax. “Kinney Natatorium also has a significant community impact. It provides numerous recreational opportunities on a daily basis and serves as the host of major championship competitions throughout the year, which bring in visitors from all over the region to Lewisburg and to our beautiful campus. I can’t thank our donors enough for this substantial contribution, as these enhancements will be impactful in so many different ways.”
The $1.65 million gift includes $1.5 million for facility enhancements and $150,000 for a maintenance fund. Among the key features of the facility are the two moveable bulkheads, which not only allow the 50-meter by 25-yard Olympic class pool to be configured in multiple ways for various types of competitions but are vital in accommodating usage by four varsity programs as well as recreational swimming opportunities for the Bucknell community.
The enhancement project will include the replacement of the two bulkheads along with new starting blocks and wedges, lane lines, and lifeguard stands.
Kinney Natatorium spectators will also notice significant improvements to the facility from an audio/visual perspective. The 17′ x 30′ video board on the south end of the natatorium will be replaced with a brand new high-definition LED video board, and it will be supplemented by a new 10′ x 10′ LED board in the diving area.
A brand new Colorado Timing System and the installation of permanent PTZ cameras in the facility will provide data and video feeds to the new display, and additional production equipment will offer increased live streaming opportunities for the Bucknell teams.
The project also includes improvements to the existing sound system in order to provide clearer audio throughout the facility.
“These upgrades to Kinney Natatorium will help strengthen its position as the best pool in the state of Pennsylvania and certainly on the short list of the best in the entire northeast,” said head swimming and diving coach Dan Schinnerer. “We are so very grateful to the donors for this generous gift and for giving back to programs for which they once competed. Their commitment to Bucknell Aquatics shows how important athletics can be in the overall college experience.”
“On behalf of the Bucknell men’s and women’s water polo programs, I want to thank the donors for this incredible gift,” said head men’s and women’s water polo coach John McBride. “The quality of Kinney Natatorium has a huge impact on recruiting and training, and it is a big advantage to our teams to be able to host our conference championships on a regular basis.”
The 2023 Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference Championship will be contested at Kinney Natatorium Nov. 17-19. The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will host an intrasquad scrimmage on Sept. 29, and their first home meet of the season will be an invitational on Oct. 21.