Skip to Main Content
View all Insights

Project Spotlight: Texas A&M University – Swimming & Diving Expansion

by Joseph Vela, Senior Mechanical Engineer

JonesDBR is pleased to be working with Populous on the new Anne & Henry B. “Hank” Paup ’70 Aquatic Center. Due to fundraising by the 12th Man Foundation, the new swimming and diving expansion will provide significant upgrades and additions that will allow the teams to be in a central location with first-class facilities.  The upgraded Aquatic Center will feature new locker rooms, coaches’ offices, an athletic training room area, dryland training space, and a fueling station.

The most noticeable change will be the addition of a highly visible exterior lobby that will provide student-athletes, coaches, and fans with a designated entrance, separate from that of the Student Recreation Center.  The lobby will showcase A&M’s history and accomplishments, featuring graphics and a large, built-in trophy case.

The team locker rooms will see significant upgrades as each student-athlete will have a solid-surface locker with wet and dry storage areas. The locker rooms will be accessible off the pool deck and feature a wet storage area upon entry. The men’s and women’s locker rooms will be separated by a shared 840 square-foot team lounge and fueling station.

Energy-efficient LED lighting is used throughout the project. The locker rooms are served by a 100 percent outside air handling unit with an enthalpy plate heat exchanger. The exhaust from the locker rooms and other areas of the expansion route through the heat exchanger to reduce the costs associated with cooling/ heating the outside air. The other areas of the building were provided with variable air volume air handling units and terminal units zoned to provide optimal comfort.

A 1,000 square-foot, rubber flooring athletic training room, and rehab space will be added to the new Aquatic Center. It will include a hydrotherapy room, space for rehab equipment, athletic trainers’ offices, a physician’s exam room, and TVs. The hydrotherapy room will feature two custom in-ground hot and cold plunge pools.

The hydrotherapy room features specialty trench drains sized to handle the required water flow when the pools are to be drained. The water supply line for the pools is located in the pool equipment room which houses the hydrotherapy pool chillers and heaters. A deep trench with a grate was built in this room along with sump pumps to drain any accumulated water.

The project also adds a dryland training space that will include an in-ground foam pit with three diving boards, as well as a tumbling area with a gymnastics spring floor. An in-ground trampoline pit and an above-ground landing mat with two diving boards will be added for top-level diving training.

Coaches’ offices, coaches locker rooms, and visiting locker rooms round out the project. Seven coaches’ offices as well as a conference room will be added off the entryway to the building and put the coaches and student-athletes under the same roof for the first time. The visiting locker rooms will see renovations similar to the A&M team locker rooms, allowing more designated space for visiting teams and club teams.