In 2010, the Virginia Tech swimming and diving teams moved their home to the Christiansburg Aquatic Center after spending decades at the pool inside of War Memorial Gym on Tech's campus.
A joint venture between the town of Christiansburg and Tech, the nearly $15 million CAC officially opened its doors in July of 2010, and it serves as the hosts of the Hokies' home meets in addition to the teams' practice facility.
"Moving to the CAC has been incredible," Virginia Tech head swimming coach Ned Skinner said. "The team has met it with full support. It is a beautiful facility that was done in a first-class manner, and we have completely elevated the way we are training our swimmers and divers."
The facility ranks as one of the best in the ACC and drew conference-wide recognition in the winter of 2012 by serving as the hosts for the ACC Championships. Tech fared well at its home venue, with the men’s team finishing a program-best second and the women’s team coming in fourth.
The CAC, a 62,000 square-foot facility, features a full-size, 50-meter Olympic-style pool, which is double the length of the pool at War Memorial Gym. All collegiate competitions take place in 25-yard lanes - a distance that is achieved by properly positioning the pair of 6-foot bulkheads. A long-course option, though, allows the swimmers to work on their endurance.
The pool has depths ranging from 7 to 17 feet. The lanes are 9 feet wide, which makes for a faster pool, and the average water temperature of the pool is 82 degrees.
Also, for the first time in program history, Tech's divers get to train on a full range of diving platforms. The facility features two 1-meter springboards and two 3-meter springboards. It also contains a diving tower with 5-, 7.5- and 10-meter platforms. In the past, Tech's divers had to go to a facility in Charlotte periodically to train on a 10-meter platform.
The facility also contains other amenities for Tech's programs. For starters, each team has its own locker room, and there is a therapy pool, weight-training areas and cardio rooms to provide for dry-land training.
In addition, the facility includes components that the average person would not think of, things like a sparger system at the bottom of the pool that releases air bubbles to soften the landing at the water's surface for divers, and a UV disinfection system, which will clean the water and eliminate the smell of chlorine.
The venue possesses seating for a little more than 1,000 spectators, who can keep up with the meet by watching the mammoth scoreboard and video display board that adorn the wall adjacent to the plethora of diving boards and platforms.
"It's pretty impressive," Skinner said of the scoreboard and video display board, the money for which was donated by a fundraising group called the Hackin' Hokies, Too. "It's probably one of only 10 in the nation. You can put the swimmer's name, split, time and place on one board, and then you have this other board - basically a television screen - that you can run instant replays on."
Tech opened participation in the facility on Oct. 16, 2010 in a meet against both Radford and the College of Charleston. In 2011-12, the Hokies served as the hosts for eight meets, with many ACC teams coming to Blacksburg to take advantage of what many feel is one of the fastest pools on the East Coast.
595 North Franklin Street
Christiansburg, Va. 24073