Anonymous donor gives $5 million for swimming poolGift is one-quarter of total needed for new Athletics Center An anonymous donor has made a $5 million gift to fund construction of the swimming pool in the University's planned Athletics Center. The amount represents one-quarter of the $20 million required to build the much-needed center.
"This is a giant step in our efforts to make the Athletics Center a reality," said Steven Rothmeier, chairman of the volunteer leadership committee that is overseeing the athletics-facility component of the Campaign for the Next Century. "It gives us tremendous momentum going into the home stretch of the campaign. We are grateful to the donor, who believes the University community deserves a state-of-the-art pool and who recognizes the central importance of the center in the life of our university."
The new pool had been identified by the committee as a particularly pressing need. Existing pools in Ida Noyes Hall and Bartlett Gymnasium do not even minimally meet today's competitive standards. Right now, the University's varsity swim teams practice and compete at the local YMCA. The gymnasium and other facilities in the new building will relieve overcrowding in the Henry Crown Field House and Bartlett Gymnasium.
The proposed Athletics Center will also include a gymnasium, new classroom and meeting areas, and locker facilities that can handle the heavy demand of today's health-conscious campus community.
The proposed facility is expected to become one of the most broadly used buildings on campus. Currently, more than 2,000 individuals each day participate in intramural teams, sports clubs and varsity squads in the limited space of existing facilities. The new facility is expected to be used by even more people.
"It's like the movie Field of Dreams," said Bernard DelGiorno, a member of the volunteer committee and one of the first major contributors to the project. " 'Build it and they will come.' It will greatly enhance our recruiting of students and faculty, and usage will expand to fill this great new space. We are committed to seeing that the necessary funds for the project are raised."
Launched during the University's centennial celebration in 1991, the Campaign for the Next Century is scheduled to run through June 30, 1996. l