In 1977, Southern Illinois University unveiled one of the nation's top aquatic facilities for recreational and competitive swimming and diving; the Southern Illinois University Student Recreational Center Pool.
Since its opening, the Recreation Center Pool has been home to the Saluki men's and women's swimming and diving teams, helping train 146 Saluki Missouri Valley champions, 71 All-Americans and 14 Olympians.
Starting in 1994, the Recreation Center Pool became the home site for the Missouri Valley Championship. Saluki swimming and diving teams have taken advantage of the "home pool" edge, capturing nine of the 10 team championships. The pool has also hosted distinguished competitions like the National Independent Championship and the Illinois Intercollegiate State meet.
The Olympic-sized pool, features a 10-lane, 50-meter long course, and two eight-lane, 25-yard short courses. The 770,000 gallon natatorium is surrounded by a closed gutter filtration system which drastically reduces water turbulence helping to increase the swimmers' speed. Outlining the pool area lies a water resistant deck spanning 20 feet wide.
The diving area, located in-between the 25-yard courses, including four one-meter diving boards, three, three-meter diving boards and a five-meter diving tower. The diving well has a depth of 16 feet.
The pool is also equipped with the latest in aquatic technology including underwater speakers and three viewing windows to record and analyze the athlete's underwater stroke performance. A newly added Colorado Times Electronic Timing System and eight lane readout board was installed in 1997 which allows immediate results. Locker rooms adjacent to the pool deck feature walk-in saunas and allow easy access to the on-site training facility.
Seating for meets includes elevated permanent seating for 400 spectators, with additional bleachers for 200 more individuals. The overlooking seating allows for a spectacular, up-close perspective during competition. For championship meets, the seating capacity can be expanded to hold up to 3,000 people.
In addition to the use by the Salukis' swimming and diving teams, the pool is open to the Southern Illinois University community for recreational events such as intramurals, swimming lessons, open swim, water polo and water aerobics. The pool also serves as the home to the Saluki Aquatics Club and Master's Team.
Attached to the pool is the multipurpose Student Recreation Center. Open daily to the SIUC population, the center houses basketball, volleyball, racquetball/handball and badminton courts, a dance studio, weight room, an indoor track, and several exercise rooms.
STUDENT REC CENTER POOL QUICK FACTS
Year Opened: 1977
Rec Center Web Site: http://www.reccenter.siu.edu/
Seating Capacity: 600
Named: Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium
on September 15, 2001
- One ten-lane 50-meter course
- Two eight-lane 25-yard courses
- Four one-meter diving boards
- Three three-meter diving boards
- One five-meter diving tower
- Three underwater viewing stations
- Underwater speakers
- Colorado Electronic Timing System
- Newly added Rapid Sand Filter System