The home of the Yellow Jacket swimming and diving program is the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center (GTAC), located on the west side of campus as the foundation of the Campus Recreation Center (CRC).
The facility was the site of all swimming, diving and synchronized swimming competition as well as the swimming portion of the modern pentathlon during the Centennial Olympic Games in the summer of 1996.
Along with hosting the '96 Olympics, the GTAC played host to the 2005 Men's and Women's Atlantic Coast Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, Feb. 16-19, and Feb. 23-26, and 2005 NCAA Zone Diving Championships.
The Jackets posted a third-place finish during the men's ACC meet, marking the second highest finish in program history, falling behind the second-place finish in 2001.
Last season, the Yellow Jackets served as the host of the 2006 Men's NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, March 23-25. The GTAC set a modern day record for attendance, bringing in more than 10,000 fans to watch the spectacle.
In front of the home crowd, Tech's Evan Stowers tallied the highest diver finish in school history, tallying a seventh-place finish on the platform to garner All-America honors.
The meet also witnessed five NCAA and U.S. Open records fall and three American records go down. Florida's Ryan Lochte set two American and three NCAA records en route to being named NCAA Swimmer of the Year.
"It was a great opportunity for the city of Atlanta to see how fast of a meet that is," said head coach Stu Wilson. "It was great for exposure for Georgia Tech and was a tremendous way to showcase how fine of a facility we have. It no doubt will help with recruiting and the more exposure Georgia Tech and our program gets, the more student-athletes will see how great it is to train in such a state-of-the-art facility."
The Jackets opened the newly-enclosed GTAC in 2003-04, as they hosted NC State on Oct. 25, 2003. Tech went on to host 11 meets in the top-of-the-line facility during the 2004-05 season, including the ACC Championships and NCAA Zone Diving Championships.
In 2005-06, Tech welcomed 23 teams in the GTAC, before the men's national championship meet.
The GTAA provides the Yellow Jackets with a world-class venue for aquatic sports and serves as an important element of the physical legacy of the Games, enhancing the activities Georgia Tech can offer its students for years to come.
The 1,900-seat main stadium contains a competition pool and dive pool.
The competition pool is 50 meters by 10 lanes, with two movable bulkheads so that courses can be set up for 25 yards, 25 meters or 30 meters for water polo. It also features a movable floor which can be set from zero depth to seven feet, eight inches.
The dive pool features one- and three-meter springboards plus one-, three-, five-, seven-and-a half- and 10-meter platforms, as well as a Spargar system that sends a mass of bubbles from the bottom of the tank to ease entry into the water.
During the Olympic Games, the GTAC also included a temporary water polo pool with a seating capacity of 4,000. It was used for all competition except the finals, which were held in the main pool.
The original $21 million facility was funded entirely by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG). Construction on the facility began in July 1994 and was completed in time to host the VIIth Synchronized Swimming World Cup in August 1995. The newly-renovated enclosure of the GTAC is part of an over $45 million expansion to the CRC.
Other test events held at the facility included the Nations Bank Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, the IXth Diving World Cup and the IXth Water Polo World Cup.
Georgia Tech continues to reap the benefits of a world-class aquatic facility for use by the Rambling Wreck swimming and diving program as well as the student body. Tech held its first meet in the aquatic center on Oct. 5, 1995, hosting Emory.
"The Georgia Tech Aquatic Center is a beautiful facility, which I think is one of the best in the country," said Wilson. "It gives our athletes an opportunity to train in an Olympic pool on a regular basis and state-of-the-art equipment.
"Swimmers have their own lockers, team room, computer lab and entertainment center where they can watch their swims from previous swim meets or just relax.
"Our athletes have all the resources needed to be successful, in and out of the classroom here at Georgia Tech."