exterior of NAU aquatic and Tennis

Northern Arizona University Aquatic and Tennis Center

Flagstaff, Arizona
Aquatics at 7,000 Feet

The new Aquatic and Tennis Complex at Northern Arizona University fulfills many roles, but focuses most carefully on state-of-the-art aquatics for both recreation and athletics as well as community based programs. At an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level, the highest competitive pool in North America, the center draws athletes from across the globe to train at altitude, but for the swimmers and divers of the NAU Lumberjacks, this is home.

Along with the neighboring Health and Learning Center, the two buildings form the north gateway to the NAU campus.  The forms and materials of both buildings are intended to complement each other and create a unified edge to north campus.

One of the challenges to this project was related to the site and project phasing.  To keep the original Wall Aquatic Center open for the maximum time, the new Aquatic Complex was constructed adjacent to the old pool, and once the project was complete, demolition was finalized, and the outdoor tennis complex was constructed in its place.

The site size and shape required a creative siting of the building to allow for the 115,000 sq. ft. footprint, 6 outdoor tennis courts and a multi-use sport field on a site that is less than 4.5 acres.
Competition at Elevation

At 7,000 feet above sea level, this facility bears the distinction of housing the highest-elevation competitive 50-meter pool in North America. As such, it draws swimmers from across the continent and globe for high-altitude training.

The full impact of the pool and dive tower is realized when visitors enter the lobby with a clear view of the entire natatorium.
“This facility will enhance our NCAA Division I swimming and diving and tennis student-athletes’ experience as they compete at the highest level. These teams will greatly benefit from this spectacular facility.”

Lisa Campos, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics, Northern Arizona Unviersity

Project Team

Chris Kastelic