West Virginia University recently announced that they will build a 25 million dollar recreation facility. The facility will include a new aquatic center, the plans for which should make the facility a potential site for a conference championship meet.
West Virginia’s press release outlines their ambitious specifications of the facility. It will be an eight lane, 50m pool, with seating for 1000 spectators, as well a family/recreational pool and a therapeutic pool. There will also be a separate diving well with diving towers.
That represents a massive upgrade over West Virginia’s current facilities. The Mountaineers currently have a combined men’s and women’s program sharing an eight lane, 25 yard pool with a small separate diving well that contains only diving boards (no platforms).
A facility like their existing one can present a major logistical problems for both the swimmers and coaches. It is nearly impossible to have the entire combined team practice at the same time in that space. As a result, the coaches often end up coaching two practices each evening to ensure a good quality training. The new facility should allow West Virginia to carry a larger roster. The addition of diving platforms will also vastly improve their diving recruiting and training opportunities.
The facility will still be slightly unconventional as it will not be housed directly on West Virginia’s campus, instead it will be built in nearby Mylan Park. It will also be shared by some of the communities surrounding Morgantown. This is a similar setup to Virginia Tech, who in 2010 built the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, which serves the same dual community purpose. Christiansburg is a neighboring town to the Hokies hometown of Blacskburg.
West Virginia head coach Vic Riggs was excited to say the least and had this to say at the announcement of the new facility: