The University of Memphis Holds Ribbon-Cutting for $12 Million Mike Rose Aquatic Center

The Mike Rose Aquatic Center at the University of Memphis is officially in operation following a grand opening and ribbon-cutting celebration on April 17. 

The construction of the new aquatic center, named after Memphis businessman Mike Rose, was originally announced by the University in 2019. At the time, the development of the project became a political spectacle as University President M. David Rudd and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris sparred over funding for the $12 million facility. After the battle was resolved, the school finally broke ground on the facility back in May 2021. 

Though exact specifications on the size of the facility have not been released, the center does house a 8-lane, 50 meter Olympic swimming pool, along with a 11-lane, 25 yard pool with removable bulkheads. On its website, the University of Memphis states that the scope of the renovations include: 

  • Installation of a new, longer pool consisting of one body of water divided by a thermal bulkhead to have two different water temperatures. The variable temperatures will allow the facility to accommodate both swim lessons/learn-to-swim programming and competitive training and meet hosting in the same body of water.
  • New pool pumps, multimedia filtration, UV pool system sanitation, and HVAC for a healthier swimming environment (both water quality and air quality).
  • Improved lighting and new sound panels, video boards, and audio system.
  • Increased seating to make the facility eligible for training and for regional swimming competitions.

The pool itself was also dedicated as the Dick Fadgen Pool, named for the former Memphis State University (now known as the University of Memphis) Swim Club head coach. Under Fadgen, the Memphis State University Swim Club team produced several National Championship-level swimmers, along with several collegiate scholarship recipients. 

The Aquatics Center was made possible by a partnership between the University of Memphis, Memphis Tiger Swimming, Splash Mid-South, YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South, the State of Tennessee, Shelby County Government, FedEx, Belz Foundation and the Rose Foundation. 

Though the University of Memphis currently does not sponsor a varsity or collegiate club swim team, the facility will still be utilized by the local USA Swimming team: Memphis Tiger Swimming for both practices and age-group competitions. In addition, the university announced that the facility would also be used by Splash Mid-South and be open to general members of the University of Memphis community. The school also sponsors a club water polo program that will have access to the facility. 

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1 year ago

Mike Rose has been very good to the sport of swimming. His daughter is Gabby Rose who represented Brazil in Atlanta 1996 and went to Stanford. His son is/was a Triathlon coach at Dynamo. Mike Rose used to be a CEO of one of the hotel chains…I want to say Marriott?! Trivia: Mike Rose’s second wife is Mrs Fields of Mrs Fields cookies!

John Henry
1 year ago

Who’s “Mike Rose”? We the PEOPLE want it named after the only true Memphis star, Mikey Williams!

wally dobler
Reply to  John Henry
1 year ago

Who is dick Fadgen did I swim with him in the 50s

ct swim fan
Reply to  wally dobler
1 year ago

I believe he was an NC State swimmer in the 50s?, so you may have competed against him.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

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