Historic IU Natatorium at IUPUI Getting $18 Million Facelift

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, July 14. THE historic IU Natatorium at IUPUI will be receiving $18 million in repairs soon, according to WRTV in Indianapolis.

During a press conference held today, Mayor Greg Ballard announced that a “recent inspection found the 32-year-old building needs $18 million in repairs.” The building will need a new roof, new lighting and a new air quality system.

Ballard has been looking at the City of Indianapolis to fund up to $10 million of the repair so that the pool would have time to make initial upgrades by the time the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials are held in the facility.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Star has reported that IU itself and the Lilly Endowment will contribute up to $10 million on the project as well.

This is a huge upgrade for one of the most iconic pools in the country and the world. The pool, commonly known as the House of Champions for being the primary location for the U.S. Swimming Olympic Trials for more than a decade before USA Swimming began moving the event to locations with bigger seating capacity, continues to host some of the biggest events in the nation. An upgrade will only serve to entice more top-flight events to remain in Indy.

This is part of an overall $30 million upgrade to IUPUI overall. Here’s the full release on the upgrade:

Mayor Greg Ballard, IU President Michael McRobbie, the Lilly Endowment and many other organizations today announced a joint $30 million investment to better connect IUPUI to its surrounding communities and make critical renovations to the Indiana University Natatorium.

The $30 million total project will include $10 million from the City to turn Michigan and New York Streets into two-way streets from West Street through campus and across the bridge into Haughville. Those streets, as well as West Street between Michigan and New York, will be rebuilt to include safer pedestrian crossings and sidewalks, bike lanes, specialized lighting, decorative signage, public art, grass medians, trees and rain gardens. Funding for the road improvements will be provided from the Downtown TIF. Construction and rerouting of traffic patterns will begin next year.

“Thousands of people enter and exit IUPUI for work, class and access to medical care every day,” said Mayor Ballard. “These streets improvements will make it safer and easier for people to access campus and encourage investment and development in Haughville, Hawthorne and Stringtown from companies seeking to be near IUPUI and the growing IU Health complex.”

The other phase of the project will include a $10 million investment by Indiana University to renovate the Natatorium and maintain it as a worldwide aquatic attraction. The Lilly Endowment will match Indiana University’s financial commitments pending final approvals from all organizational partners. Improvements include a new roof, heating and cooling system, pool filtration, lighting, skylights, and other mechanical repairs. Most renovations will be complete prior to Indy hosting the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving in 2016.

“Just as the IUPUI campus has been an integral part of downtown Indianapolis for decades, the IU Natatorium has become one of the city’s signature sports venues over the last 30 years,” McRobbie said. “Indiana University’s investment in the future of the Natatorium is emblematic of our commitment to the city of Indianapolis. The planned improvements will allow the Natatorium to provide swimmers and divers of all levels – as well as fans of the sports – with a world-class facility for years to come, furthering strengthening the strong partnership between IU and the city.”

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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