Construction to begin on acquatics center

UCLA will start construction on the Spieker Aquatic Center project at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center on Monday. Here’s the release from UCLA:

UCLA Athletics to Begin Construction of Spieker Aquatic Center
State-of-the-art facility to feature 52-meter, all-deep water pool and diving center

June 26, 2008

LOS ANGELES – The UCLA Athletic Department will begin construction on the Spieker Aquatic Center project at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center on Monday, June 30. PCL Construction has been hired to complete the project for opening in the fall of 2009. The Spieker Aquatic Center will be the new home for UCLA’s men’s and women’s water polo and swimming and diving teams.

This state-of-the-art facility will include a 52-meter by 25-yard all-deep water pool with a dividing bulkhead, allowing races to take place at varying distances (meters, versus yards). The aquatic center will feature three, five and 10-meter platforms on a diving tower as well as one and three-meter spring boards.

The Spieker Aquatic Center will include a locker room for both men’s and women’s teams in addition to permanent seating for 600 spectators. The east side of the venue will feature a “Champions Wall” which will include the accomplishment of UCLA’s past and present aquatic teams in addition to a LED scoreboard.

“I am so pleased that we are able to begin this project that has been in the works for years,” UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said. “Working with our partners in the Recreation Department to provide more aquatic opportunities for our teams, clubs, faculty, staff and students is going to be a win-win situation for everyone.”

The Spieker Aquatic Center will offer the opportunity to host not only UCLA athletic events, but also Master’s swimming events, individual club swim meets and U.S. Water Polo events, along with regional, national and international competition. The state-of-the-art facility will bring together all three of UCLA’s intercollegiate aquatic sports – water polo, swimming and diving – in one venue.

“I know I speak for my fellow coaches and my student-athletes when I say that we are truly excited about the prospect of having a first-class venue to showcase our teams,” head men’s and women’s water polo coach Adam Krikorian said. “I have looked forward to this since I was playing polo here at UCLA, and I thank everyone who had a hand in making this a reality.”

“The reality of having our whole team – swimming and diving – train and compete in one place is a dream come true,” head swimming coach Cyndi Gallagher said. “The Spieker Aquatic Center will certainly be the proud home of UCLA Aquatics, and we could not be happier.”

UCLA’s new aquatic facility is being made possible by the generous lead gift of former student-athlete Tod Spieker and his wife Catherine. Spieker, a 1971 UCLA graduate, swam for the Bruins from 1968-71 and earned All-America honors in 1969. Presently, he and his family reside in Atherton, Calif. A substantial secondary gift was also received for the construction and naming of the pool by the Joseph Gould Foundation.

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About Jill Painter

Jill Painter is a sports columnist for the Los Angeles News Group, covering everything from the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, USC, UCLA, Kings, golf and all human interest stories in sports.
  • saxylady

    While a new aquatic center is great, I think they really need to get going on renovating Pauley Pavilion. Need to start to “compete” with the Galen Center. Those 11 NCAA championship banners in the rafters at Pauley are great, but the arena really needs to be upgraded.

  • anon

    Spieker wasn’t going to donate to Pauley. He has a long and generous history of donating money to universities and high schools for the sole purpose of building new aquatic venues.

  • saxylady

    That may be true. I just meant that UCLA needs to really push to get the Pauley renovation started as soon as possible. There should be many more people who can donate to the Pauley project than to a new aquatic center … and I mean no disrespect to the (National Champion) Women’s Water Polo, Men’s Water Polo and swimming teams.