McMaster U AD Has Sights Set on New $56 Million Aquatics Centre

The McMaster University pool last week played site to a scene in an episode of the Hulu mega-hit “The Handmaid’s Tale,” where two characters in the show drowned. The 1967-built facility has been a popular filming spot for big-budget blockbusters and television shows, including a scene in one of the “Resident Evil” movies.

In an interview with the local paper The Hamilton Spectator, though, the school’s athletics director Glen Grunwald said that the pool, which has quite a history on the big screen, might be torn down, if he has his way.

In September, the school will begin a $60 million expansion of the David Braley Athletic Centre at McMaster. After the conclusion of that project, he wants to tear down the school’s existing 6-lane, 50-meter pool and replace it with a new aquatic center.

He believes that rental income can make the pool is self-sustaining, and that a huge participation-base of recreational swimmers in the area could make it a big draw.

His challenge will be to raise funding – what he believes will be a $56 million ask – that the university won’t cover. He’s hoping that the city of Hamilton and private donors will bring money together to build the facility.

His vision for the facility includes a new 10-lane, 50-meter pool, a separate diving pool with springboards, a lesisure pool for swim lessons, an accessible lap pool, a heated pool for therapy, and new locker rooms. Under Grunwald’s vision, ,the pool would also include the Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame and the McMasterSports Hall of Fame.

In his perfect, world, he says that the pool could be open and available as soon as four years from now.

The scariest comment is the quote that finishes the article, about what will happen if money can’t be found:

“If not,” Grunwald laughs, “we’ll have a tremendous indoor skateboard park where the Ivor Wynne Centre pool used to be.”

McMaster’s women’s team finished 7th at last year’s U Sports national championship meet, while the men’s team failed to score. UBC won both the men’s and women’s titles.


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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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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