Swimming & diving programs receive boost

Oct. 19, 2007

CRWC Groundbreaking photos | AUDIO: Coach Long comments on the CRWC

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa ceremonially broke ground Oct. 19 on a $69 million Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC), which will replace the outdated Field House swimming and diving facility. The Field House was built in 1927.

The CRWC will include a 50-meter competitive swimming pool, separate diving well, leisure pool with lanes for lap swimming, jogging track, three multi-purpose courts, 54-foot climbing wall and 24,000 square feet of fitness space that will include cardiovascular machines and weight equipment.

“Recreation facilities are significant to the mission of the University of Iowa,” said President Sally Mason. “We must be dedicated to the well-being of our students.”

The 215,000-square-foot facility, located on the southwest corner of Burlington and Madison streets in Iowa City, has an estimated completion date of late Fall, 2009.

“This will be an impact-type facility for our state and the Midwest which will help us attract recruits,” said Marc Long, head swimming and diving coach at Iowa. “We’ll be able to host national competitions which is outstanding for our current swimmers and it will be critical for recruiting.”

Long said the CRWC will also bring the Iowa “up to speed on basic regulations” as far as lane length and diving tower size.

“The Field House pool is a beautiful, historic facility and truly one of the great remaining aquatic centers in the country,” Long said. “But it has been operational purely because of some outstanding duct-tape type work by our facilities management.”

The financial plan for the CRWC was approved by the State Board of Regents on Sept. 27, 2006.

While competing in the Field House, Iowa has had 187 men’s swimming and diving All-Americans (including 19 national champions), 25 women’s All-Americans and a combined 56 All-American relays (two also won national championships). The Hawkeye men won Big Ten Conference team championships in 1936, ’81 and ’82.

The CRWC will also be home to several wellness groups from around campus.

“There will be literally millions of people who will be affected by this building,” said Gary Barta, director of athletics. “This building will be a significant piece of the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation.”

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