Oberlin College – Carr Natatorium

Oberlin, OH


When Oberlin College made the decision to expand and renovate its existing Health and Wellness Center, the college took a unique approach to the standard conventions of athletics while keeping the college’s core values of liberal arts at the center. Through new design and programming, Oberlin College ventured forward with the community in mind and a mission to foster self-care.

The Patricia ‘63 & Merrill ‘61 Shanks Health and Wellness Center is a new 16,000 sq. ft. addition to the 115,000 sq. ft. Jess Philips Physical Education Center. This new center’s priority is to educate the Oberlin community on the importance of prioritizing self-care and bringing together physical and emotional well-being, particularly in the wake of work and school stresses.

Photo courtesy of Sam Fentress Photography


Pool Type

Indoor 25 Yard

Project Type

University Athletics

Project Service

Design Services

Most Recent Project

Completed 2018


Hastings & Chivetta

Project Amenities

Unlike many athletic centers, the Patricia ‘63 & Merrill ‘61 Shanks Health and Wellness Center includes programming for mental health, self-care seminars, and a counseling center as well as physical education classes and standard athletics such as a weight room, volleyball and basketball courts, smash ball courts, competition pool, yoga, spinning, and a TRX room. The Carr Natatorium located within the Health and Wellness Center includes a new ten lane pool, 25-yard by 25-yard pool and a 56 sq. ft. Hydroworks spa that was constructed within the footprint of the original natatorium that only provided six 25-yard by 25-meter lanes.  The new pool will be used for varsity events, learn-to-swim programs, fitness, and recreation, as well as lifeguard and water safety certification. Additionally, the new pool features a dedicated, fully accessible shallow water section perfect for instruction and water aerobics.

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