Fundraising underway to add pool to SERF project beginning in 2017
Fundraising is underway for a new $26 million competition pool and separate diving well that will be included as part of the University of Wisconsin recreational sports renovations to the Southeast Recreational Facility (SERF) near the Kohl Center on the UW campus.
Construction is planned to begin in 2017, with the 50-meter pool ready to host swimming meets and recreational swimmers in 2019. The pool will have seating for 1,500 spectators and will include a separate diving well with a 10-meter platform. It will link to the existing UW swimming and diving facilities at LaBahn Arena (completed in 2012), which include student-athlete locker rooms, lounge space and training areas.
The competition pool will be paid for by a mixture of resources, including $13 million in student fees ($108 per semester starting in 2016) and $13 million in gift funds from the athletic department. The overall $223 million rec sports plan was approved by UW students in March.
"This new pool will help us provide top-notch facilities for our student-athletes," said UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank. "We have always had a strong tradition of diving and swimming and I am proud that this pool will help continue that tradition for many years to come. We are thankful for the support of our students, the athletic department, and the donors who have made this possible."
While some donors have come forward to fund the pool, allowing the project to move forward, many more are needed to make the pool a reality.
"Athletics has always been a good campus partner, and I'm pleased we are going to be able to assist with the development of this pool," UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez says. "We have good fundraising momentum, but we still have work to do."
The new pool will replace the Badgers' competition venue at the Natatorium, a 25-yard, eight-lane pool built in 1961. It will provide recreational and intercollegiate opportunities for the university and will host the WIAA state high school swimming and diving championships.
"The addition of a competition pool was something envisioned by UW students from the conception of this plan, and recreational and athletic users alike should feel very fortunate that the funding from students, athletics and donors has come together to provide UW-Madison with a first-class collegiate pool," said John Horn, director of the UW Division of Recreational Sports. "This amenity addition only contributes to the state-of-the-art recreational master plan that is set to begin in the near future."
The impact of a new training and competition pool can only enhance Wisconsin's recent achievements.
Wisconsin's men finished fifth at the 2016 Big Ten Championships and 18th at NCAA meet; the Badgers women were sixth at the Big Ten championships and 21st at NCAAs.
To contribute to the SERF Pool campaign, please contact the UW Athletics Development Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (608)262-1000