On April 30th, Kalamazoo College will begin demolition of its 51-year-old natatorium, the one and only pool the Kalamazoo College swim team has ever called home, making room for a new facility.
The Kalamazoo College Natatorium opened in 1968 and has been the home of 32 MIAA Championship teams, eight NCAA Division III National Champions, and two National Divers of the Year.
The new 28,000 square foot natatorium will house a 10-lane pool convertible to both SCY and SCM, a diving well with two 3-meter boards and two 1-meter boards, seating for 268 spectators, and four locker rooms–two for intercollegiate athletes as well as two for general use. A dryland training room and office space for coaches will accompany these upgrades, as will a new timing system. The new facility will reside on the same premises as the now closed 6-lane, 25 yard facility, and is set to open its doors on October 10th, 2020.
The new $16.625 million natatorium will be paid for largely with the college’s own funds, but also relies on a combination of tax-exempt bonds and charitable contributions. Currently, the project has a balance of $465,000, and naming opportunities abound for different parts of the facility.
In addition to being the home of the Kalamazoo College Swimming & Diving Team, the new facility will also accommodate Swim For Success, an outreach program funded by Kalamazoo College swimmers & divers and partnered with the City of Kalamazoo that teaches children water safety skills to reduce risk of drowning, the Special Olympics, Kalamazoo Masters, and West Michigan Diving, among others.
For the 2019-2020 NCAA season, Kalamazoo College swimmers and divers will train at nearby Western Michigan University’s Gabel Pool. Western Michigan does not have a varsity swim team, but is home to a club team that competes within the College Club Swimming delegation of US Masters Swimming.
A livestream of the demolition of the 51-year old Kalamazoo College Natatorium is linked below.
Designs of the new Kalamazoo College Natatorium are shown below: