UPS opens $19.4 million Athletics and Aquatics Center

University of Puget Sound opened the doors to its new Athletics and Aquatics Center on Friday, Aug. 19, as the incoming Class of 2020 arrived from around the country for first-year orientation. As classes began on Monday, Aug. 29, the new Lillis Cafe in the building’s great hall also opened, providing the campus with a new refreshment venue.

Credit: University of Puget Sound The Athletics and Aquatics Center at University of Puget Sound adds 38,000 square feet of space to Memorial Fieldhouse, including a new pool, cafe, fitness center and team athletic facilities. Credit: University of Puget Sound

Credit: University of Puget Sound
The Athletics and Aquatics Center at University of Puget Sound adds 38,000 square feet of space to Memorial Fieldhouse, including a new pool, cafe, fitness center and team athletic facilities. Credit: University of Puget Sound

The $19.4 million center, including a state-of-the-art pool and spacious fitness center, compliments and extends the university’s historic Memorial Fieldhouse, situated near the corner of Union Avenue and N. 11th Street in Tacoma. The new facility was funded through the One [of a Kind] comprehensive campaign that surpassed its $125 million goal upon its completion last summer.

Logger athletics teams and their fans, campus members, academic programs, and local community programs will all benefit from the new facility. The modernized center meets the needs of the 23 Logger NCAA Division III varsity teams and the many intramural and club sports teams. It enhances the college’s physical education programming, provides healthful activities for faculty, staff, and alumni, and contributes to the 24/7 living and learning experience of students. The space also services local community partners with aquatic programs.

A formal dedication of the building will take place at a ceremony for donors on Oct. 21, during Homecoming and Family Weekend.

The overall project added 38,000 square feet to Memorial Fieldhouse and renovated 24,000 square feet of existing space in the field house’s Pamplin Sports Center. The 25-yard pool has eight competition-width lanes and three warm-up lanes for instruction, sports rehabilitation, and therapy. It provides seating for nearly 400 spectators. The new pool replaced Wallace Memorial Pool, which was built in 1957.

The bright two-story entrance hall, opening on to N. 11th Street, leads to the Loggers Hall of Fame and video showcase and the new Lillis Cafe, which was created with a contribution from Puget Sound Trustee Gwen Lillis P’05 and Chuck Lillis P’05. The cafe is run by the college’s Dining and Conference Services and offers coffee, tea, smoothies, snacks, and pastries. Opening hours are 7 a.m.–1:30 p.m. and 3:30–8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and on game days.

The existing fitness center doubled in size and has additional cardio and weight equipment, day-use locker rooms, and a new climbing wall. The varsity team areas include team meeting rooms, a new rowing ergometers room, an enhanced sports medicine facility, and a coaching staff office suite. The newly developed areas are fully accessible, and include accessible and gender-neutral restrooms.

The Athletics and Aquatics Center is a vital part of Puget Sound’s 20-year Tapestry of Learning Master Plan, which has guided the creation of new buildings and spaces on campus since 2003.

– University of Puget Sound