Liberty Is Removing, Replacing Entire Diving Tower after Platform Collapse

Liberty University has announced a plan to fully remove and rebuild the less-than 3-year old diving tower at its natatorium after a platform collapsed into the pool in June.

A 1-meter diving platform collapsed on Wednesday, June 24 at the Liberty Natatorium. No injuries were reported.

The collapse was the latest problem for the $20 million, 75,000 square foot natatorium was opened during the 2017-2018 season. It has been plagued by issues – mostly relating to the timing system.

The school has hired a demolition contractor to cut a large hole in the ball wall of the natatorium and rmeove the entirety of the main tower, including the 1-meter, 3-meter, 5-meter, 7.5-meter, and 10-meter diving platforms.

The standalone 1-meter and 3-meter springboards will remain in place and will be used for training and competition by the Liberty diving program during the 2020-2021 season. Then, in March 2021, after the conclusion of the season, the school will rebuild the main tower with a plan to be fully functional.

The release announcing the new tower, for the first time, gave an explanation for the collapse.

“After extensive investigation including some destructive testing where we actually removed concrete to see the structural support inside the concrete, it has been determined that the tower was not constructed per the design engineer’s specifications,” said Liberty Vice President of Major Construction Dan Deter. “In reviewing all this information and wanting to do the proper and safe thing, we made the decision to remove the platforms and reconstruct completely.”

The school has not said whether they believe the structures that hold the springboard apparatus are free of the same defect (given that those will continue to be used).

The school has also not answered whether or not Glass & Associates, the contractor that built the pool, will be making the repairs, and whether evidence was provided that other parts of the 75,000 square foot natatorium with seating for 1,414 are safe from the same errors.

Like most NCAA programs, Liberty has not yet announced its 2020-2021 schedule, though the school located in Virginia continues to move forward with plans for fall athletics. That includes announcing two replacement football games this week to replace other games that have been canceled by their opponents.

Last season, Liberty won its second-straight CCSA conference title in women’s swimming & diving. That included a 1-3-5 placement on the 1-meter, and a 2-3 finish on the 3-meter. Sophomore Lauren Chennault was the conference champion on 1-meter.

The conference hosts a platform event at its championship meet, but that is for exhibition and NCAA qualifying purposes only, not impacting team scoring.

Liberty hosted the 2019 CCSA Conference Championship meet in its new pool. The 2021 championship is scheduled for the University of Tennessee.

Liberty will start the new season with a new head diving coach, Andrew Helmich.

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11 months ago

While they’re at it, they should just remove the whole university as well!!!

Brian M
11 months ago

That goes for about 1/3 of the “universities” in this country. Completely worthless.

11 months ago


11 months ago

On a sad day that saw the elimination of yet another program in our sport, one would think you could find nicer words to say about a university actively investing to save said sport.

Reply to  @JakeShell
11 months ago

While this is a good intuitive on the part of Liberty it is greatly outweighed by the other glaring shortcomings–and some might argue harm they inflict on the minds of adolescents–they have in being an academic institution. A broken clock is right twice a day.

Reply to  HuntleyJones
11 months ago

Oh, Huntley, I am sure you are one of those holier then thou folks who have a “Hate Has No Home Here” signs in front of their house too…not sure what harm they inflict on the minds of adolescents that you are referring to…??

Justin Thompson
11 months ago

God bless liberty. 🙏

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Justin Thompson
11 months ago

And the Pool Boy.

Tony R
11 months ago

That moment when the lowest bidder didn’t have adequate quality programs in place…

Jeremy P Ludfin
11 months ago

Coach Jake will be re inventing the Power Tower using the old concrete.

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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