Goodbye ‘NAT’: Charles McDowell Lee Natatorium to be closed indefinitely and demolished

( Photo / Suraj Thapa Magar )

The Charles Lee Natatorium will remain closed and the building will be demolished.

Samuel Granville

Staff Writer 

The Charles McDowell Lee Natatorium was closed indefinitely before the start of the spring semester and the university has now been announced it will not reopen. 

In addition to the lap swim facilities being closed, the university has also reported that the building will be demolished and removed from its very central campus location.

The indoor lap swim facility opened in 1976 and was the first of its kind in the Pike County area. Dr. Shane Tatum, the Director of Campus Recreation said the natatorium will be well remembered.

“The Nat has offered the community of Troy many enjoyable hours,” Tatum said. “From swimming lessons and scuba classes to a city swim team, the pool has certainly gotten its use. 

“But like with anything, it’s time to do something different, and with the new rec center, I think we’re going to be able to do that.”

With the closing of the natatorium, there is no longer an indoor lap swim option on campus, but Tatum says there are alternative options. 

“Hopefully, in the future, we might have another indoor pool on campus,” Tatum said. “But the City of Troy does offer an indoor pool the same size as the natatorium that is used for lap swim, so students can go out there, or when the weather warms up, we’ll have the option of the outdoor pool for students at the new rec center.”

There is no set time for the natatorium to be demolished, yet, but Tatum says he believes there should be no inconveniences for students or faculty when the time for that comes.

“I think we’re going to do it during a time that we’re less active, maybe over a break or during the summer,” Tatum said. “I don’t see there being any type of hindrance during the semester.

The natatorium is named after the late Charles McDowell Lee, who served as the Secretary of the Alabama State Senate and as a member of the Troy University Board of Trustees.  

No building is currently planned to take the place of the natatorium. 

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