The University of Puget Sound recently announced its intent to move forward with plans to enhance its athletics facilities, including the addition of a new aquatics center and expansion of its fitness center. According to a news release issued by the university, the project is intended to complement the existing Memorial Fieldhouse, built in 1949. Completion of the $19.4 million project is anticipated by fall 2016. The project will also serve the needs of Logger athletic teams, campus members, academic programs, and local community programs.

The release notes that the project ranks among the key priorities of the college’s One [of a Kind] comprehensive campaign. The project is supported by fund-raising that is slated to continue through June 30, 2015. Additionally, the release reports that fundraising for the center has been boosted by a pledge from a group of Puget Sound trustees to match every new gift made by June 30, 2015.

Ronald R. Thomas, president, classifies the Athletics and Aquatics Center as “an important asset for our residential liberal arts college community.”

Thomas adds that the new facilities will also serve as a resource for the university’s programs in academic disciplines such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and exercise science.

The release reports that in total, 38,000 square feet will be added to the Memorial Fieldhouse and 24,000 square feet of existing space in the fieldhouse’s Pamplin Sports Center will be renovated. The aquatic center will be constructed to the west of the field house.

The center will feature a 25-yard pool with eight competition-width lanes and three warm-up lanes for instruction, rehabilitation, and therapy. It replaces the current Wallace Memorial Pool, the release says, which was built in 1957.

A modern great hall will connect the aquatics center to Memorial Fieldhouse.

The release notes that the fitness center will nearly double in size. The building will provide additional cardio and weight equipment, day-use locker rooms, and a new climbing wall.

The newly developed areas will be designed to be fully accessible, and the upgrades are intended to ease navigation of the facility.

In addition to Puget Sound’s 23 NCAA Division III varsity teams, intramural and club sports teams, faculty, staff, alumni, community partners, and local swim clubs; the university’s exercise science, physical therapy, and occupational therapy programs will use the Athletics and Aquatics Center. The release states that these programs provide health services to 300 local residents each year.

Construction is scheduled to begin this summer, with renovations to the varsity locker rooms and sports medicine facility completed in August 2015, and the aquatics center completed by fall 2016.

[Source: Puget Sound University]