Jan. 15, 2010
LAS VEGAS -
The UNLV athletics department held a grand re-opening event for Buchanan Natatorium on Friday, to celebrate the renovation of the 35-year-old facility. The ceremony took place just prior to the start of the first home competition of the season for the Rebel swimming and diving teams.
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF THE CEREMONY
Originally opened for use in 1975, the natatorium underwent a complete and total renovation from the walls in following the completion of the 2008-09 season.
"I could not be more happy today," said Jim Reitz, who is in his 30th year as the head coach of the Rebel swimming and diving program. "Not only because of our new pool, but to have had the chance to work with the people that have worked on this facility for the past year. What a blessing for our program and thanks to all that it was completed on time."
Buchanan Natatorium was named after former Nevada System Board of Regent James L. "Bucky" Buchanan II in 1980, and was officially dedicated on June 12, 1981. The former regent was an avid swimmer and supporter of UNLV Athletics until his passing in the fall of 2009.
"What a terrific gift from the Buchanan family to this university and to Rebel athletics," said UNLV Athletics Director Jim Livengood. "Jim Reitz truly does care about young people and cares about all the right things. This great university is so very blessed to have Jim lead our men's and women's swimming programs as well as have this tremendous facility."
Many dignitaries were present at the ceremony including Regent James Dean Leavitt who spoke briefly.
Beginning in March of 2009 in a project undertaken by Core Construction of Las Vegas, the renovation included a new pool, new pool deck, new diving boards, two new bulkheads and a new drainage and plumbing system.
Other changes made to the facility included changing the pool itself from aluminum to concrete, and the shallow end was changed from four feet to eight feet deep, giving the option to use both ends of the pool for competition at the same time.