Multi-million dollar pools and recreation centers are the new “golden egg” for colleges and universities. Not only do these amenities look great on campus tours and brochures, what student wouldn’t want to attend a school with a lazy river, slide and beach volleyball court? Those are like the last few things that college needs before it becomes just a full-fledged camp for adults with optional classes.
But as some of you who’ve visited other campuses can attest, not all college pools are on the same level. And in the spirit of summer and staying cool, we’ve pulled together our list of the 10 best college leisure pools in the nation.
We’re not concerned with lap lanes or distance–the only thing on our mind is whether or not these pools are good for relaxing. So without further ado…
Honorable Mention: Louisiana State University
Average Temperature: 79 degrees
Amenities Included: leisure pool, lap pool, lazy river, 35 ft rock climbing wall, an eight lane lap pool and plentiful relaxing decks
The new LSU recreational pool project itself is going to cost the university 85 million dollars and will be completed by the Fall of 2016. With a lazy river to take your mind off things and yoga classes right by the glistening pool you better believe everyone it is going to be the new hangout spot. Forget about the beignets, it’s beach body season all year long at LSU now.
#10: University of South Carolina
Average Temperature: 66 Degrees
Amenities Included: One indoor pool, One outdoor pool, One whirlpool/spa, One dry sauna
The Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center offers Gamecocks a whirlpool, outdoor pool and sauna to heat their day up.
SC’s facilities might not offer the sheer amount of activities that other schools might, but make no mistake about it: they have everything you need to stay cool bath in the sun and the pool.
#9: Missouri State University
Average Temperature: 67
Amenities Included: The pool is complete with a water current channel for therapy and walking, wheelchair accessibility, LED lighting, zip line, hydrotherapy jets, underwater seating and one rock climbing wall.
Serious question, what isn’t at Missouri State University? By the looks of it nothing short of awesome. These features are good for all students that need to relax or those rehabilitating their hangovers from the night before
#8 Pensacola Christian University
Average Temperature: 62.4
Amenities Included: 12-lane bowling alley, ice skating rink, mini golf course, indoor water park, million-dollar wave rider.
We don’t understand the need for a million-dollar wave pool at a Christian University, but it’s a safe guess that the students of PCU don’t really care because it’s awesome. Does this count as a pool? We think so. And while Pensacola doesn’t really have a massive pool like the rest of these schools, we think it’s unique enough to warrant an inclusion.
#7: University of Colorado
Average Temperature: 58
Amenities Included: 4 pools (indoor & outdoor) and 1 climbing wall
At the University of Colorado-Boulder, the Buffs get to enjoy various water activities including water polo, intramural swim races and pool volleyball. The outside pool features leisure activities in a quiet, natural setting. while the indoor pools are used for lap swimming and competitive diving.
#6: University of Alabama
Average Temperature: 64
Amenities Included: Student recreation center (indoors and 4 lanes), outdoor pool complex slide, outdoor pool complex lazy river, 50M pool, 5 yd. Pool (8 lanes), diving platforms
The kingpin of sorority and fraternity mansions would say that everything is better in the south. Since Alabama prides itself on its athletic prowess, we’re not surprised that the Crimson Tide have a baller pool and rec center.
With a decked out crimson slide and a lazy river you’ll never want to go to class.
#5: University of Central Florida
Average Temperature: 78 Degrees
Amenities Included: Custom climbing wall, sand volleyball courts, leisure pools (indoor & outdoor), Lake Claire, 9-lap pool
The University of Central Florida provides state-of-the-art facilities provided at The Recreation and Wellness Center. The Rec Center features a custom climbing wall, sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, and indoor and outdoor leisure pools.
Aquatic facilities include a nine-lane lap pool, a leisure pool, and Lake Claire activities even including SCUBA certifications.
#4: Texas Tech University
Average Temperature: 78
Amenities Included: 645ft. lazy river, bubble bench circle pool area, separate 8-lane lap pool, 25 person hot tub, diving board and drop slide, kid’s area with spray pad, wet deck w/ lounging area
The Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center has a reputation for being one of the largest facilities of its kind in the country. The leisure pool also enjoys a superlative existence as the largest one in the nation. The lazy river is 645 feet long and is the center of the pool’s design.
The pool area costs students little more than $10 extra per semester. The separate indoor pool facility is completely enclosed and it’s one of the largest structures of its kind in the world.
#3: Auburn University
Average Temperature: 66 Degrees
Amenities Included: 5-story rock-climbing wall, 45-person tiger-paw-shaped hot tub, 1 outdoor leisure area w/ pool
Auburn University has raised the bar on innovative use of space. Hell, they even put lounge chairs in the pool so you can take a dip and catch rays. Auburn University opened the new 240,000-square-foot Recreation and Wellness Center nearly two years ago creating an outdoor pool facility like none other.
Alabama can have the Tide, I’m sure that Auburn students are more than stoked to have a 45-person tiger-paw-shaped hot tub.
#2: University of Texas-Austin
Average Temperature: 78 Degrees
Amenities Included: Indoor Lap Pool: 7 lanes (25 yds), Indoor Leisure Pool (1000 sq. ft), Outdoor Lap Pool (12 lanes), Outdoor Leisure Pool (5,600 sq. ft), Outdoor Event Pool (2,200 sq. ft.), Outdoor Spa (20 person), deck space and lounging ledge, wireless internet
The Gregory Gym Aquatic Complex was renovated and expanded to accommodate increased indoor and outdoor student activities. The pools are particularly equipped for leisure, sunbathing and spa, swimming laps, and hosting competitive events. Don’t be shocked to see smoking sorority sisters playing chicken with fellow fraternity brothers throughout the year as it’s known to get buck-wild at this oasis.
I’m sure Matthew McConaughey probably sits in his Lincoln and thinks, “I wish I could go back”.
#1: University of Missouri
Average Temperature: 65
Amenities Included: 50-meter competition pool, diving well with 10-meter platform, resort-quality tranquil pool complete with lazy river, sauna, hot tub, steam room, vortex and outdoor sociable beach club.
No matter what time of year, it’s always Spring Break in the Tiger Grotto. The Grotto will relieve you of your dullest days and make you feel like you’re on vacation with the resort-quality facilities and an atmosphere that turn even the most anxious Tiger into cubs.
The outdoor social beach club really heats up once the weather warms up while a state of the art indoor pool facility featuring a lazy river for when it’s cold out. Tiger Nation has it all (except for liquor and women after 10 PM in fraternity houses).