$30M in needed upgrades coming to IUPUI, Natatorium

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Big changes are coming for the IUPUI Natatorium and all around campus.

City and IU officials Monday announced a $30 million deal between the city, IU and the Lilly Endowment to pay for needed upgrades. Indianapolis will spend $10 million to make the campus more accessible by making New York and Michigan streets two-way. The plan also calls for new streetscapes, lighting and bike lanes.

IU and the Lilly Endowment will invest another $20 million into restoring the Natatorium, which has hosted hundreds of elite athletes for swimming and diving events. The Nat's list of needed repairs has been growing for years.

"This would be mainly an infrastructure rebuild of the Natatorium," explained Tom Morrison, IU's vice president of facilities. "The roof will be replaced, windows will be replaced, lots of mechanical infrastructure, electrical infrastructure, lighting, things like that."

The goal is to get the facility back to being the best in the country.

According to Arlene McDonald with Indiana Swimming, "There's just been a long history of great performances at the Natatorium. This facility has provided our Indiana athletes the opportunity to not only compete but to witness some of the best swimming in the world. So it's been a great legacy and we want that legacy to continue for all of our young athletes that are just starting out in the sport and for the next 20 years."

"Now that we know the Natatorium is going to be up to speed and be able to be used as a competitive venue to bid with now, we'll be aggressive about pursuing more aquatic events now," added Allison Melangton, president of the Indiana Sports Corp.

The Natatorium has also been a popular venue for master, youth and everyday swimmers.

The Nat will be done in time for the US diving trials in 2016. Work is expected to begin on it and the campus this fall.