Hillenbrand Aquatic Center
Photo Gallery of Hillenbrand Aquatic Center
For years, the Arizona Wildcats have had a national caliber swimming program and they have a fully functional facility that complements their success. Thanks to an original generous contribution made by local businessman William G. Hillenbrand, what was once commonly known as McKale Pool became the William G. and Dolores D. Hillenbrand Aquatic Center upon its dedication in May of 1989. Twenty-years later, the center reached its full potential with the addition of the Kasser Family Pool, which serves as a first class diving center, training pool, and water polo facility.
In May 1988, the 3-phase comprehensive renovation project for the McKale Pool began with the creation of the main front entrance, enclosed locker rooms, and front offices. Above the entry, the main grandstand, with a striking navy canopy, provides shaded seating for 600 fans. A catwalk provides access to three sides of the pool at the grandstand level and increases the total capacity of the main pool to over 1,000 spectators and is a great viewing angle for short and long-course competitions. The light towers allow for early morning training, as well as evening events, and give the center tremendous flexibility.
The wiring, technology and replastered/retiled deck and pool as well as brand new timing system, video board, records board, starting blocks, and audio system were part of the Kasser Family Pool addition. The old diving well, equipped with turn targets to add perspective for swimmers, and lanes for training and warm-ups, is now used extensively on competition dates.
In 2007, construction of the Kasser Family Pool began and in August of 2008 the state of the art diving well was completed. The Kasser Family Pool is 25 meters x 33 meters, with a consistent depth of 17'. Containing 1.1 million gallons of water, the pool is able to be split into two sections so both diving and swimming can take place simultaneously. The 10 meter platform is currently the only one in operation in Southern Arizona. In addition to the 10 meter, the facility has platforms at the 7.5 and 5 meter levels as well as spring boards at 1 and 3 meters.
The facility boasts a sparger system that is state of the art and serves as a safety feature for student athletes. In addition, a spa sits alongside the tower staircase to keep divers warm and loose as they await their turn in the diving rotation. Kasser Family Pool features fixed grandstands that can seat in excess of 600 fans, each of whom will have a direct sight line to a new full color LED/Video board on which current meet information is displayed. The facility is poised to host large national and international diving competitions in the years to come.