Lancaster Aquatic CenterThe University of Kentuckyís Lancaster Aquatic Center, opened March 29, 1989, represents the finest in collegiate swimming and diving facilities. The Center will host the 2007 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships in February.
The natatorium is named for Harry C. Lancaster, former UK Athletics Director (1968-76) and assistant basketball coach (1946-70) to Kentuckyís legendary Adolph Rupp.
The indoor facility is 25 yards by 176 feet with a movable bulkhead that can be set at 25 yards, 25 meters, 50 yards and 50 meters. The movable bulkhead allows the facility to be used for a number of activities other than swim meets and practices, including recreational swimming, aquatic classes, swimming and diving lessons, scuba instruction, handicapped swimming and other aquatic-related activities. The addition of the second bulkhead will take place in 2006, creating an even faster racing facility.
Racing lanes can be set up in five configurations: across-the-pool racing at 25 yards, 25 meters, 50 yards and 50 meters. Two 25-yard courses can be utilized for large swim meets. Eighteen swimming lanes are available while diving events are in progress. Long course racing will have eight full-size lanes for the 50-meter distance.
The swimming tank, which holds 1,025,000 gallons of water, has a raised deck gutter with a large overflow. This gutter design is similar to the Indianapolis Natatorium design. Pool depth varies from 4.3 feet to 6.5 feet at the shallow end, utilizing a movable floor of 35 by 75 feet. Water under the diving boards and tower is 17 feet deep. The natatorium features Daktronic automatic timing for swim meets. A 16-by-23 foot wall-mounted scoreboard allows full display of information for eight-lane and 16-lane swim meets. The scoreboard can also display graphics and animation sequences.
The diving facilities are among the best in the world. The facility has two 1-meter boards and two 3-meter boards set on concrete platforms. Each platform is eight feet wide with lengths from 23 feet to 28 feet.
The facility won the 1990 Association of General Contractors Award for Structures. There is a 40-foot dryland diving area permanently set up with a trampoline, Portapit diving board and two diving/tumbling harnesses for somersaulting and twisting practice.
The Aquatic Center has a full training room equipped with two treatment tables, EGS and ultrasound machine, hydrocollator, and ice machine. There is a trainer on duty at all times.
In the adjacent Seaton Physical Education building are exercise physiology labs that are utilized for the testing of swimmers and divers.
The second balcony accommodates up to 500 spectators and has a concession stand area.
The Aquatic Center was host to the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships in 2002 and again in 2006.
In July of 2000, the United States Olympic Divers put on two exhibitions before embarking upon their trip to Sydney to compete in the 2000 games.
In 1999, UK hosted the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships at the Aquatic Center. Pool records fell left and right as some of the nationís most talented divers and fastest swimmers competed at the Aquatic Center, Feb. 17-20.
In addition to hosting the 1996 U.S. Olympic Diving Team, the Center hosts the premier swimming and diving events in the state of Kentucky. These events include all UK home meets, the Kentucky State High School Championships, the Kentucky USS Championships, Zone and Regional Age Group and Senior Diving meets, Kentucky Special Olympics, and Bluegrass Games Diving meets. Highlights at the Aquatic Center have been the 1991 and 1999 Southeastern Conference Championships, the 1995 Southeastern Conference Diving Championships, the 1995 NCAA Zone B Diving Championships and the 1990 World Games Diving Team Trials.