Originally dubbed the UNLV Natatorium, the schoolís swimming pool was built in 1974 and opened for use in 1975. The natatorium boasts a 50-meter indoor pool with two bulk heads and a deep end 25-yard course for racing. It has an automatic timing system and spectator seating for 1,200.
Named after former Nevada System Board of Regent James L. ďBuckyĒ Buchanan II in 1980, the Buchanan Natatorium was officially dedicated on June 12, 1981. The former regent was and still is an avid swimmer and supporter of UNLV athletics.
The pool has a 733,000-gallon capacity and is made out of aluminum. Magnesium diodes within the pool framework prevent decomposition and rust.
Buchanan Natatorium has hosted and continues to host several major meets. The Western Athletic and West Coast conferences hold their annual championships at the facility. In addition, the swimming portion of the U.S. Olympic Sports Festival brought the likes of Olympic Gold Medalists Matt Biondi, Janet Evans and Pablo Morales to the Buchanan Natatorium in 1987.
The Big West Conference (then known as the Pacific Coast Athletic Association) held its annual menís and womenís championships at the pool in 1985, and the womenís meet only in 1984 and í86. The UNLV menís water polo team, coached by Wes Mock, called the pool home from 1976-80.
The natatorium is located adjacent to the menís and womenís locker rooms within the Paul D. McDermott Physical Education Complex on the UNLV campus. The pool is used for P.E. classes as well as open public swimming.