HPER Center Natatorium

HPER Center Natatorium

The HPER Center Natatorium, proud home of Wittenberg swimming & diving and women's water polo.


Quick Facts


Built: 1982
First Swimming & Diving Meet: Jan. 15, 1983
Men: L, 44-69 vs. Ohio Northern
Women: W, 84-28 vs. Ohio Northern
First Women's Water Polo Match: March 2, 2019
L, 7-4 vs. Carthage
Dimensions: 25 m x 25 yds
Competition Lanes:
Six
Training Lanes: Eight
Diving Well: Yes (1m/3m)
Timing System: Colorado
Seating Capacity: 300

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About This Facility

Natatorium Pool Deck
The Natatorium is set apart by a beautiful mosaic tile Tiger in the deck.

The Natatorium in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Center, was built in 1982 and officially opened in 1983. It was constructed as part of a $7.1 million construction project that also included Pam Evans Smith Arena. Together with six racquetball courts, which have been converted to golf training rooms and storage areas, the Natatorium and adjacent areas cover approximately 22,000 square feet.

The Natatorium sees year-round use not only by the Tiger men's and women's swimming and diving and women's water polo teams and the Wittenberg community, but also by high schools and clubs for practices and local and regional competitions. The pool is a destination for local teams thanks to its cutting-edge systems and spacious accommodations.

Three-hundred spectators can follow the action from the balcony that overlooks the 25 meter-by-25 yard pool and convertible diving well. Eight training lanes running east-to-west convert to six north-south competition lanes to open up the diving area, which is equipped with two one-meter boards and one three-meter board in a depth of 13 feet.

Diver
The Natatorium features 1-meter and 3-meter diving boards.

The Natatorium features a top-of-the-line Colorado Timing System, electronic scoreboard and public address system. To provide a complete training regimen, the Natatorium also houses three power racks, an Olympic trampoline and tumbling mats.

From the balcony, spectators get a full view of a beautiful mosaic tile Tiger on the deck and have a clear angle on the action in the pool.

The Natatorium, conveniently located square in the middle of the HPER Center, has direct, on-deck access to team locker rooms and integrated coaches offices, and is only steps away from the training room. Spectators may access the viewing area from the Legends Lobby in the HPER Center, where restroom and concession facilities are also available.

The southern wall of the natatorium was originally an exterior wall of the 1929 Field House.

Accessibility: The Natatorium and HPER Center complex are accessible to individuals with disabilities, and the athletics staff is happy to make accommodations for interested patrons. Wheelchair seating is available on the pool deck.


History

McGilvray Natatorium
McGilvray Natatorium, home of Tiger swimming & diving from 1929 to 1982.

The swimming and diving teams have called the HPER Center Natatorium home since its opening in 1983. The first meet in the new facility, versus Ohio Northern on Jan. 15, 1983, also served as the first home co-ed swim meet in Wittenberg history.

A $7.1 million project finished in 1982 as part of the Campaign For Wittenberg added the arena, natatorium, locker and training rooms, racquetball courts and lobby to the existing field house to become the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Center. The project also incorporated renovations to the Field House, where the Gymnasium, a strength center, and the offices utilized by Athletics Department coaches and staff and Health and Physical Education faculty are located.

Prior to the opening of the HPER Center, the swimming and diving teams competed in McGilvray Natatorium, which was transformed into a strength center for many years before locker rooms were created during renovations in 2018 and 2019. McGilvray Natatorium was considerably smaller, with just a one-meter diving board and four lanes, restricting meets to one team, men's or women's, at a time.

In the Strength Center, six upright bikes and a stretching area occupy several large steps, where the old natatorium's seating once stood. The pool itself ran in front of the seating, where bench and rack, power lift, ground and traditional weight systems are currently located.

McGilvray Natatorium was an original part of the $400,000 Wittenberg Field House, constructed in 1929 as the culmination of the Springfield Campaign, a community fundraising venture by President Rees Edgar Tulloss. A plaque marks the exterior wall of what was McGilvray Natatorium, near a lion's head fountain, on the south end of the original Field House portion of the HPER Center.