Liberty Begins Construction on Massive New Pool, Olympic Sports Complex

  11 Braden Keith | July 25th, 2013 | College, Featured, News

In only four years in existence, the Liberty University women’s swim team, under the guidance of Jake Shellenberger, has put multiple swimmers at the NCAA Championships (including freshman Jessica Reinhardt last  year) and even scored points, with Brye Ravettine.

Now, the program is taking another monumental leap with the construction of a new Olympic Sports complex, that will include a 50 meter pool, a separate diving well, an indoor track, and facilities for the gymnastics and the wrestling teams to practice as well.

This is a massive upgrade from the 25-yard, six-lane pool with a 1-meter diving board that the team currently uses.

The complex will set on the East end of campus, with the pool expected to be ready to go in 18 months, and the entire facility completed in 24 months.

Liberty is the largest Evangelical Christian university in the world, with a massive online student population and a 13,400 student local body.

The school has continued to see a rapid expansion of its on-campus facilities, especially in athletics, likely boosted from the profitability of their online program.

  • In 2007, a new volleyball practice facility was opened;
  • in 2011, they announced a $120 million campus expansion that includes more dorms, green space and academic space;
  • in 2010 they opened the Tower Theater, which seat 640 people, with full box office, cat walks, and orchestra pit;
  • In 2012, they began construction on the Jerry Falwell Library, for $50 million
  • In May of 2012, Jerry Falwell Jr. announced that the football team would pursue FBS (Division I-A) participation in football, already expanding their football stadium to 19,200 seats, with it planned to hold 30,000 by 2015

With 20 athletics teams already, the only thing missing from Liberty’s repertoire is a men’s swimming program to match their women’s. This could be coming, as the new pool will include a men’s varsity team room and locker room. Those around the program have hinted that a men’s club team will be coming first, which they hope (like the women’s team did) will grow into varsity status.

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11 Comments on "Liberty Begins Construction on Massive New Pool, Olympic Sports Complex"

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3 years 3 months ago

Jake was my summer league coach and I have never had a more motivational coach. He told was great stories during “chalk talk” each day. Coach Jake is going to take this program to new heights

3 years 3 months ago

I’ve never even heard of this place and they’re building a 50 meter pool? Any more info on it? Pretty impressive to say the least.

3 years 3 months ago

Liberty University was founded by Jerry Falwell and is located in Lynchburg, Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

3 years 3 months ago

It is a newer program. Coach Shellenberger is a talented Coach who obviously can recruit. Additionally, he seems to be a quality person who asks his athletes to exhibit quality in and out of the pool.

I have no horse in the game; just an observation.

The program, particularly for the Conference they are in, is on the rise. Best of Luck!

3 years 3 months ago

As a previous swimmer under Jake, I can tell you that he puts countless hours into building the foundation of a program that will one day become legendary. This pool will change LU swimming dramatically. This team will go from swimming in a 6 lane, window-less, airless recreational pool/dungeon, to a training facility. How he recruits people to even come there is a miracle in itself. This will be the 4th year Liberty swimming has even existed. He sells the program, and he delivers as a coach. Great job Jake!

Don't blink!!
3 years 3 months ago

Keep an eye on Liberty Swimming. They are sending 6 swimmers to the US Open next week!!

3 years 3 months ago

If this pool will be anything like their brand new baseball field, then expect a top notch facility. My son (2013 HS All American Swimmer) was absolutely speechless when he came here for a baseball tournament.

2 years 10 months ago

do they accept liberals at this school

2 years 9 months ago

Is there any chance that Liberty will be starting a men’s swim team? My son is a “great” swimmer (high school sophomore) and it’s hard/next to impossible to find a Christian school with competitive swimming.

GWU Swim
1 year 4 months ago

Gardner-Webb fields both Men’s and Women’s D1 Programs.

2 years 8 months ago

Although I have only known Jake for a short time through the recruiting process of my daughter I have been thoroughly impressed with his integrity and forthrightness in the process. He keeps everything real and can answer the tough questions. He really has great vision. I can see only great things happening with the swimming program(s) hopefully the mens will be added soon. Great job in the building process. I am looking forward to the next 4 years.


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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