Kalamazoo College is ready to make a splash with student-athletes and the community thanks to the completion of an $18 million project years in the making. The College will dedicate its new natatorium, at 1010 Academy Street, during Homecoming weekend at 4:30 p.m. Friday, October 15.
The completed project will begin hosting competitions at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 16, as the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams host a triangular meet against Saginaw Valley State University and Alma College.
In addition to the College’s athletics events, the natatorium will host local clubs and high school teams; open swimming for students, faculty and staff; and Swim for Success, an innovative partnership between Kalamazoo College’s Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Center for Civic Engagement and the City of Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Department. Swim for Success provides affordable swimming lessons, particularly for children from low-income families who otherwise would not have access to this life-saving skill.
“We’re excited because the new natatorium will be a tremendous asset for our campus and for the Kalamazoo community,” Kalamazoo College President Jorge G. Gonzalez said. “We are deeply grateful to the donors—many of whom are alumni of the swimming and diving program—who have made an investment that will benefit K students for decades to come. We’re also proud that a profound, impactful program like Swim for Success will again have a home here.”
The 29,600-square-foot, two-story facility will feature eight competition lanes, a separate diving area with 1-meter and 3-meter boards, on-deck seating for athletes, a dryland training room, an office suite for coaches and meet management, a high-quality timing system and large scoreboard, varsity team locker rooms for swimmers and divers, a display space of awards in the lobby and LEED sustainable features and design elements.
The previous natatorium had been home for the College’s swimming and diving teams for five decades. The student-athletes on those teams included eight national champions, three National Divers of the Year, and 32 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association conference championship teams. Swimming and Diving Coach Jay Daniels expects the new natatorium to help the Hornets continue that tradition of excellence.
“The former building was more than a pool to us,” Daniels said. “It was a space where student-athletes pursued their passion, formed long-lasting relationships and developed their fitness, drive and discipline. We know this natatorium will be that and more for us. It will help us recruit student-athletes to K, build on our competitiveness and ensure our future success.”