Oliver J. Ocasek Natatorium
• View the Women's Swimming & Diving Team and Locker Rooms
• Official Site of Ocasek Natatorium (ONAT)
Ocasek Natatorium enters its eighth season as the home to the University of Akron swimming and diving program. The $6.5-million complex is named for the late Oliver J. Ocasek, professor emeritus and long-time Ohio State Senator. The ground-breaking ceremonies took place on May 1, 1986, and the facility officially opened 20 months later in January, 1988.
Ocasek Natatorium was dedicated on May 7, 1988, and became home to The University of Akron's first women's swimming and diving team in 1998 at the inception of the program. The Zips' first home meet was on October 31, 1998, against Ball State.
The ONAT is a 64,000-square foot, two-story building that has a clean span over the pool area. All surfaces of the pool, surrounding deck and walls are finished in ceramic tile.
The facility includes a 50-meter Olympic-sized pool, pool-level locker rooms, an observation deck, seating for 1,000 spectators, nine handball/racquetball courts and two weight rooms.
The 835,000-gallon pool has moveable dividers, eight racing lanes, 3-meter and 5-meter platforms, two 1-meter springboards and two 3-meter springboards.
Other features include a built-in electronic timing and scoring system, an underwater observation room, underwater lighting and a new color scoreboard added in 2004. The building is attached to the student recreation center, which opened in August 2004.
In addition to serving as the home pool of the Zips, the ONAT serves as the home facility for the Akron Rippers diving club, Stow High School, Walsh High School, Barberton High School, Firestone Aquatic Swim Team (FAST) swimming, Hudson Explorers Aquatic Team (HEAT) swimming, Western Reserve Seariders (WRS) swimming, Cuyahoga Falls Tiger Sharks swimming and Cleveland Lancers swimming.
While serving as the home of the annual SummaCare Invitational each December and the 2006 Mid-American Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, the Ocasek Natatorium serves as the site for YMCA Swimming and Diving Zone Meet, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) sectional championship meet and the United States Diving Association Zone meet.
UA previously had a men's program that competed in the pool in the basement of Memorial Hall from 1951 to 1985. The women's swimming and diving program is the first UA swim team to call Ocasek Natatorium home.
Directions to Oliver J. Ocasek Natatorium
FROM THE NORTH - Take Interstate 77 South. Follow 77 S to the Wolf Ledges/Grant Street exit. Proceed straight on ramp. Turn Left on Grant. Follow Grant to Exchange make a right turn. Proceed straight on Exchange to Spicer Street turn left. Parking facilities begin on left hand side on the corner of Spicer and Carroll Street.
FROM THE SOUTH - Take Interstate 77 North, follow signs for Route 8 North/Buchtel Avenue. Exit Route 8 at Buchtel Avenue. Turn left at end of the ramp onto Carroll Street. Parking facilities begin on the corner of Spicer and Carroll Streets.
FROM THE EAST - Take Interstate 76 West to Route 8 North. Follow directions from the South.
FROM THE WEST - Take Interstate 76 East to 77 North. Follow to Route 8 North. Follow directions from the South.