What a facility! 64,000 square feet dedicated to AQUATICS! These are the words written at the beginning of a description pamphlet prepared by the aquatics staff of the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. I must say that I completely agree with their assessment…. What a Facility!

When our aquatic design firm started working on this project in late 2007, we did not know at that time just where the planning of this awesome facility would lead us.

At that time, the initial discussions were to build an indoor aquatic facility that would be multi-purpose in function, with facilities that could be used by city residents for recreation, exercise, swimming lessons, competition, and maybe a bit of therapy. However, something rare happened during that initial planning process. Community visionaries stepped up to the plate and dared to imagine what such a facility could be for the community.

One of those visionaries was Christiansburg Town Manager, Lance Terpenny. Along with other Town leaders, Lance suggested approaching neighboring universities with the concept of making this facility a world-class competition venue, as well as an aquatic treasure that would serve residents of the region in a way that is rarely accomplished anywhere, let alone in a 21,000 population hamlet like Christiansburg, Virginia.

These Town visionaries saw the value that could be gained by all involved parties:

  • For the universities and all serious aquatic sport competitors, one of the best swimming and diving facilities in the world
  • For the residents of Christiansburg, an indoor aquatic center for recreation, exercise, competition, swimming lessons, and every imaginable municipal aquatic program
  • For the regional medical community, a facility for warm-water aquatic therapy and rehabilitation programs
  • For the economic health of the region, a venue for visitors to buy food, regional products, fuel, hotel stays, entertainment activities, etc.

When the surrounding universities were approached with this concept of a world-class multi-purpose aquatic facility, another amazing thing happened. The idea landed in the laps of visionaries at Virginia Tech University.  These forward thinkers took hold of the same vision and facilitated a significant monetary contribution from the University to make the project a reality.

Opened in 2010, the Christiansburg Aquatic Center is a world-class venue that is envied by all serious aquatic competitors. It is home to the Virginia Tech Swim and Diving Teams, an ACC powerhouse that now has one of the best venues ever built as a recruiting tool that will enable them to become even more formidable in the NCAA as a whole.

The Christiansburg Aquatic Center is also that discovered pearl of a resource belonging to the entire Christiansburg Region. The community not only has a year round facility for water recreation, exercise, and therapy, but also a competition venue that can be the training ground for many young aspiring aquatic sport competitors. Whether it’s swimming, diving, or water polo, residents of this region now have the facility that can truly shape the next great competitors we will all admire for their skills. After all, the Michael Phelps’s of the world have to have great training facilities to develop their full potential.

Some of the exciting aquatic amenities you will find at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center include:

Aquatic Competition

  • Swimming at 50 meters, 25 meters, and 25 yards through the use of dual 6’ wide moveable bulkheads
  • Diving with 1 meter and 3 meter springboards, and 5, 7.5, and 10 meter platforms (with state-of-the-art air sparger systems, and deck showers)
  • Water polo course
  • Synchronized swimming
  • Warm water warm-up area
  • Colorado timing and scoreboard system with video
  • Over 1,000 seats for spectators. Elevated seating area has separate climate zone from that of the pool deck areas for maximum comfort of spectators and competitors alike.

Aquatic Recreation

  • Separate warm-water family leisure pool. The family leisure and therapy pools are in a room separated from the competition pool area by a glass wall so that optimum room and water temperatures can be maintained perfectly in both rooms.
  • Beach style entry
  • Triple loop water slide
  • Spray and play features
  • Tumble buckets
  • Exercise lap lanes

Aquatic Therapy and exercise

  • Separate warmer-water therapy pool
  • Ramp and stair entry
  • Underwater benches
  • ADA lift

Other aquatic amenities that are part of the facility

  • Wet classrooms
  • Locker facilities
  • Family changing rooms
  • Private lounge and locker area for the Virginia Tech Hokies

We, at Aquatic Design Consultants, Inc., are extremely proud of our association with this facility as the designers of the pools and diving facilities. The lead building architects, Reynolds Architects, Inc. are also thrilled with the results.

Beyond this stellar facility, you will find a charming community full of southern hospitality with some of the most spectacular natural beauty in America. Located in the southwestern part of Virginia in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Christiansburg has something to appeal to all age groups.In summary, if you or your aquatic club or group wants to book time at this world-class facility for your next outing or meet, I strongly recommend you contact the professional aquatic staff at this facility.  The Director of Aquatics, Terry Caldwellwill gladly help you. She has been the manager of this facility since its’ opening, and can customize your experience perfectly.

If I were booking an event for my swim club, Christiansburg would be at the top of the list for must see destinations that the whole family will enjoy.

Once again, the best phrase we have to describe the Christiansburg Aquatic Center is….  What a Facility!

Another Article in Collegiate Times.