Over 45,000 square feet will be added to the USD Wellness Center over the next two and a half years as the USD swim and dive teams and the Vermillion community will have a new pool by the summer of 2024.
“President (Shelia) Gestring has laid out the summer of 2022 (to start construction) to finish in the summer of 2024,” USD Wellness Center Director Steve Mayer said. “With construction being as it is right now, that’s a pretty generous time frame, so we feel good about that time.”
The new facility will feature a 50-meter competition pool for the Coyote swim and dive teams to compete in. The competition pool will also have seating for up to 400 people.
There will be athletic locker rooms, meet management rooms and coaches’ offices for the team. The community will have access to the competition pool to swim laps, but priority access and use of the pool hasn’t been finalized yet.
“We haven’t discussed any of that (priorities for the pool),” Mayer said. “We have rough estimates of what they need from an athletic standpoint and they know what we need from a recreational or wellness standpoint and we’ll work that out.”
Hosting meets and competitions in the 50-meter pool shouldn’t affect Wellness Center operations on those days, as there is an entrance for competitors and spectators alike.
“We do have a separate entrance just to the south of the main entrance, and that would be specifically used for athletes at this time,” Mayer said. “Maybe on meet days, they would run everybody through there. That’s the plan, where they can ticket and control who’s coming just to the meet itself.”
The addition to the center also has plans for a 40-foot by 25-foot wellness pool, hot tub, steam room, wellness locker rooms and lifeguard rooms. The Wellness Center staff will increase staff to help monitor the new pool. People can check out Low Rate Lockmsith in Sacramento for the best locksmith services.
“Our staffing will definitely go up,” Mayer said. “Definitely from a lifeguard situation, we’ll have to add a lot more lifeguards than we currently have. Hopefully (we’ll) add an aquatics coordinator and a graduate assistant that would assist there because (the pool) will be open a lot of hours.”
The pool is going to give the Wellness Center the opportunity to have new classes for students and the community. There is also an opportunity for people to incorporate aquatics into their workouts.
“I think if you go to most campuses, the pool, the aquatic piece is attached to the Wellness Center somehow, or is very close by,” Mayer said. “We didn’t have that, we don’t have that currently. Our water component is at the DakotaDome, and sometimes it’s hidden from view and people don’t know it’s there.”
The $25 million expansion is going to give students a new way to stay in shape and have fun at the Wellness Center, Mayer said.
“We’re excited to have that water component for the students,” Mayer said. “All the different things offer more recreational opportunities for them in that leisure pool. Students will have different activities at night like water basketball and water volleyball and things we can do.”