Board of Trustees discuss locations for new Aquatic Complex for MMC

Summary of each prospective location for Aquatics Center. | Photo from presentation given by John Cal

Brian Olmo | Investigative Director

The Board of Trustees discussed three different locations for a new aquatic complex to be built on the Modesto Maidique campus at a March 7 Ad Hoc meeting. 

PantherNOW reporters were not at the meeting, nor has the meeting recording been posted online. However, reporters spoke with trustee Alexander Sutton and reviewed presentation slides to see what’s in store for the proposed aquatic center.

The locations mentioned included the front of Blue Garage, between Graham Center and the Academic Health Center and on the west side of campus near the athletic facilities.

While no final decisions were made, the board did decide that the aquatic complex would not be put on the west side of campus. 

“We want it to be a recreational pool, not only an athletic pool,” said Sutton. 

Potential locations for Aquatics Center | Photo from presentation given by John Cal

“We want it to be a facility accessible to our student athletes while also being accessible to the student body at large to use on a daily basis for recreation. Putting it on the athletic side of campus we thought would make it less likely that the student body as a whole would use it.”

Plans for the center’s prospective construction between GC and AHC are not finalized and will include revisions to the design and layout.

“We didn’t like the fact that the Olympic-sized pool would be facing east-west. The standard is north-south. So we asked for a mockup where some trees would be moved and make the pool run north-south,” said Sutton. 

Aerial view for potential Aquatics Center building in between GC and AHC. | Photo from presentation given by John Cal.

Each site has a different cost and construction footprint. 

Building in front of Blue Garage has the lowest estimated cost at $23.6 million with a construction footprint of 1.25. If BOT decides on building between GC and AHC, it’ll cost an estimated $24.9 million with a smaller footprint of 1.16.

Plans for building on the west side of campus would’ve cost $23.8 million and had the largest footprint at 1.44. 

Concerns of the center’s proximity to GC have also been raised.

“I think that there’s just some concern on the part of some members of the administration that we will be the only university to have an aquatic center so close to our Student Union Building, and not at all close to our athletic facilities,” said Sutton. 

“It would certainly set us apart.”

Athletics Director Scott Carr spoke to PantherNOW about the proposed locations for the pool and what it means for the student athletes.

“From an athletic department standpoint, we don’t have a particular preference on the locations that they’re still considering,” said Carr in a voicemail recording. “We’re very appreciative of the BBC campus pool we have but obviously our student athletes live in MMC and that’s where all our support services are.” 

“We know that the pool is a huge piece for the student experience for all students on campus. So whatever works best for the campus community will work well with us,” said Carr. 

Marc Sarnoff, trustee and member of the Master Plan Ad Hoc committee, explains in an email the two priorities when it came to mapping out locations for the aquatic center.

“We are mapping out our options for a state of the art aquatic center that will satisfy two primary needs that of our Swim teams (men’s and women’s) and our dive team,” Sarnoff wrote. 

“Just as important the aquatics will serve as great pool and social access point for our students to relieve the stresses of college and allows for others to exercise a life time sport.”

Sarnoff also wrote about evaluating one site over another, referring to the site between GC and AHC1 and the other in Lot 4.

“Both sites are central points on campus with each possessing different advantages over the other for proximity to student life. Once we receive additional information we can begin the process of determining the best site and commence final numbers and fundraising.”

Though trustees firmly established that they’re going with one of the two options closest to GC, much still remains to be decided as the aquatic center planning is in its early stages. 

Follow Brian Olmo on Twitter at @Brian_Olmo11 

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