George Washington Filling Pool to Add Basketball Facilities, Booting Swim Team Off-Campus

George Washington’s Senior Day sweep of crosstown Washington D.C. rival Georgetown last weekend was the Revolutionaries’ last meet ever in the Charles E. Smith Center.

George Washington is moving forward with plans to transform the Smith Center natatorium into a new practice facility for the men’s and women’s basketball teams beginning in October, booting the university’s aquatic athletic programs off of its main campus. The current facility is an 8-lane, 25 yard pool located adjacent to the campus and just a few blocks from the National Mall and the White House.

The Revolutionaries are expected to relocate a few miles northwest from the main Foggy Bottom Campus to the GW Mount Vernon Athletics Facility, where a 30,000 square-foot building will be constructed around an existing six-lane, 25-yard outdoor pool. It is unclear when that renovated facility will be completed, or whether the university has another plan in the interim.

The George Washington men will be aiming to capture their fourth Atlantic 10 title in a row later this month while the Revolutionary women are hunting for their third consecutive conference championship. Their A-10 championship banners will remain hanging in the rafters of the Smith Center as a symbol of the swimming and diving program’s legacy in the arena.

George Washington kept its momentum going this season as the Revolutionary women beat Pitt (in an LCM dual meet) for the first time in program history. Head coach Brian Thomas is in the midst of his sixth season leading the combined men’s and women’s program, sweeping the past two conference coach of the year honors.

The Smith Center dates back to 1975, with its latest renovation coming in 2011. The university reportedly must still have a hearing in front of the D.C. Zoning Commission to finalize plans for its basketball practice facility project.

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2 months ago

GWU is dead to me. This AD’s complete disrespect of these amazing student athletes is appalling.

2 months ago

As a former swimmer for Brian Thomas, I can attest that while this isn’t ideal, he will make the absolute best of it for his athletes. This news broke right before their conference meet and it didn’t appear to negatively affect the team at all. He’s not only a phenomenal coach, but he purposefully recruits resilient swimmers. The fact that they crushed A-10s and broke more school records than ever shows just how resilient they are. You can bet he’s doing his best to advocate and make the best out of a bad situation for his teams.

3 months ago

Also, there is no diving well at the mount vernon campus… where is the diving team supposed to practice? A team who has made it to NCAA zones multiple times, which is very impressive for a school that is not a “powerhouse”. What makes GW’s success so interesting is that they are both a joint men’s and women’s program but also a joint swim and dive team- if you are not able to keep the team together how will you build the necessary rapport to succeed?
Leaving your athletes, who have defied all odds with such a bad pool facility already and won multiple A10 championships, is such a disgrace. Don’t be involved in athletics, let alone the director… Read more »

Mr Sandals
3 months ago

As a GW swim alumni, this is heartbreaking. Not much else to say.

Maggie Mestrich
Reply to  Mr Sandals
3 months ago

Ditto – Class of ’06.

vivianne pommier
Reply to  Mr Sandals
2 months ago

i was on the first swim team in that pool. this is totally tragic.

sjostrom supporter
3 months ago

does anyone know the size of the current pool? I’m just curious.

Reply to  sjostrom supporter
3 months ago

8-lane, 25 yard.

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

The current pool is seriously bad. It didn’t get renovated when the rest of the Smith Center was renovated. It is an all shallow pool with one deep hole directly under the 1 meter diving board. Not sure why their new location would only be 6 lanes. Hope it is deep though for swimming and water polo.

GW Swim/Dive
3 months ago

Those who wish to see this changed should email the athletic director, Tanya Vogel, [email protected] and voice your concern.

3 months ago

It appears that the basketball team really does need more practice.

vivianne pommier
Reply to  joannietheswimmer
2 months ago

well.. they never should have fired mike lonergan.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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