Liberty Begins Construction on Massive New Pool, Olympic Sports Complex

  11 Braden Keith | July 25th, 2013 | College, 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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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.

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.

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

do they accept liberals at this school


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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