Soon, the area north of the Mitchell Recreation and Athletics Center will contain 738,000 gallons of water–in the new pool, that is. Construction for the $38.5 million renovation and expansion of the Mitchell Center, which will include a training suite, two-story fitness center, and Athletics Hall of Fame, started in September and is set for completion in the spring of 2013. But the natatorium, with its Olympic-size pool (including a moveable floor), a diving well, and spectacular seating for more than 1,000 will be ready for swimmers in 2012.
“This is a project that has been long in planning, and we’re excited to see it now underway,” says Denison President Dale Knobel. “Denison has been fortunate to have extensive sports and recreation facilities, and these 21st century additions will only make them better.” With nearly 30 percent of Denison students involved in intercollegiate athletics, just as many playing club or intramural sports, and an ever-increasing demand for recreational facilities at residential colleges, the time was right for Denison to embark on the most ambitious athletics facility project in the history of the college. (The pool alone will be four times the size of the current Mike Gregory Pool.)
The project’s launch was made possible by several donors, including a $7 million lead gift from the current building’s namesake, Lou Mitchell ‘57, a former Denison basketball star who still holds several school records. “The generous donors who are making this possible are investing in the ‘growth of the whole person,’ a hallmark of Denison’s liberal arts education,” added Knobel.