A little less than $4 million of athletic auxiliary funds this year will go toward athletic facility enhancements, including renovation of the Natatorium, replacement of bleachers in Tiger Stadium and expansion of women’s basketball locker rooms.
Expansions and renovations of athletic facilities around campus continue to ensure Tiger Athletics compete with other Southeastern Conference schools, said Emmett David, associate athletic director for Facility and Project Management.
The Natatorium on West Chimes Street housing men’s and women’s swimming and diving will close from March to September of this year for a $1.8 million renovation, David said. The project will address maintenance needs of the diving platforms and swimming lanes.
“Over time, pool facilities are breached by chlorine gasses and after 30 years, the deterioration here requires renovation,” David said.
At Tiger Stadium, bleachers in the east, north and west sections of the lower bowl have deteriorated and will either be replaced or reinstalled depending on their condition, David said. The south section will not be treated because maintenance was done two years ago.
The process starts with the removal of all bleachers in the aforementioned areas, David said. The concrete where the bleachers were removed will then be cleaned and waterproofed. David said waterproofing involves application of a topical coating to the concrete. The replacement or reinstallation of the bleachers will complete the project, making for sturdier seating on gamedays while protecting the concrete structure of the stadium for long-term use.
These precautions will be complete before the first home game of the coming season on Sept. 6, David said. They will amount to $1.6 million.
On a budget of $575,000, the women’s basketball locker rooms will undergo a renovation, which will include the addition of a team lounge and refurbishing of existing locker areas, David said.
These enhancements are meant to provide student athletes with a more contemporary environment and assist in the recruitment of prospective student athletes, David said.
Currently in design, the renovation will begin once the women’s basketball season ends this March.