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Texas Tech: Making a Splash!

Texas Tech University’s new Student Leisure Pool, touted as the newest, largest and most prestigious of its kind in the country, is now open.

Written by: Hardy Elkins

The Student Leisure Pool at the Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center features a variety of aquatic activities for the Texas Tech community to enjoy.

Students are lining up for their opportunity to dive into the newest addition to the Texas Tech campus.

Almost three years after the initial groundbreaking ceremonies, the Student Leisure Pool at the Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center is open for business, making Texas Tech the fifth Big 12 school to feature such a facility.

According to Melissa Hogle, Student Recreational Sports assistant director for aquatics, the two-acre complex is revolutionary in a collegiate aspect by its versatile arrangement of activities, size and creative design.

Students can enjoy a slow ride down the lazy river, or take part in either a game of water volleyball or basketball with friends. For the kids, or just the kids at heart, a separate pool is home to a 15-foot slide and a diving board. In case hunger strikes, a poolside Sam’s Place offers fresh sandwiches, smoothies and refreshments.

More interested in relaxation? Then soak in the large hot tub which seats up to 20 people. One of the most exciting new features is the bubble couch, which consists of an isolated aquatic bench that massages its users with a chorus of bubbles while they recline and enjoy the afternoon.

For those not looking to get wet, the facility features several areas designated for laying out and soaking up the sun. Covered tables and chairs, as well as wireless access, also are available within the fences of the facility.

"I believe the construction of the pool really shows Texas Tech’s commitment to the students, not only for academics, but also for their personal welfare," said Hogle.

The $8,250,000 facility, overwhelmingly approved in an October 2006 student election, was designed and fully funded by students through an increase in student recreation fees. Hogle believes the facility cost is a great investment in order to present a healthy environment for students.

"I really think the key for us was having a variety of things for the students to do. We already cater to a lot of fitness swimmers by having the indoor Olympic-size pool, but we really wanted a place where the students could go to feel comfortable and really hang out and have fun."

According to Hogle, not only does the construction of the leisure pool present Texas Tech with an opportunity to recruit more potential students, but it makes a statement to the faculty, staff and Texas Tech community regarding the steadfast commitment by the university to expand and have unique, top-of-the-line facilities.

Access to the leisure pool is free for currently enrolled students. For individuals who are not currently enrolled, a $75 membership to the rec center is required for access to the pool for both summer sessions. The pool offers various family hours for children to enjoy, and it is available to rent for small group and birthday parties, which include aquatic staff party hosts and lifeguards.

Photo Gallery

Photos by Artie Limmer.

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48 Responses to “Texas Tech: Making a Splash!”

  1. Becky Carter Says:

    I wish we had one of these! Winters in Nebraska wouldn’t allow for it.

  2. Aimee Stephenson Says:

    Is this open to the public or are familyies welcomed…hrs, cost, etc

  3. Jeremy Says:

    You know Becky, the pool is great, but the fieldgrass fields that UNL has are even better. They really should invest in some of those at TTU.

  4. Jerrod Says:

    At least one person has to be a member of the rec. I believe the general public can become members, but of course the price is higher than it is for staff or students. Four guests can accompany one member. I believe the cost is $4 for children and $6 for adults. Hope this helps. My wife and stepsons have a blast!

  5. Brenda Says:

    I suggest you have an open day for all without membership maybe once or twice a year, so the general public can appreciate what we have at Tech. At $10 a person it would not be a loss for Tech, or for the citizens of Lubbock. Thanks for making Texas Tech and Lubbock, a great place for all.

  6. Jeb Says:

    This would have been nice 20 years ago when I was there! Boy what a building boom Tech has undertaken. Very nice work guys.

  7. Jeb Says:

    Red and black tiles would be nice instead of the blue hues though around pool edge. Nice when colors are the only thing you can complain about….

  8. Kim Says:

    I really hope alumni dollars weren’t used for this project. While it’s a “cool” thing, this is the type of facility the city should be providing, not a learning institution. With $8 million, you could have put new computers on each floor of each of the dorms; provided desparately needed scholarships or attracted new instructors. Hopefully Tech will remember this the next time they call and ask for my money.

  9. Joe Says:

    Kim, as the article states: “The $8,250,000 facility, overwhelmingly approved in an October 2006 student election, was designed and fully funded by students through an increase in student recreation fees.”

  10. Jeremy Says:


    The article states that it was funded through student recreation fees. The students who voted to construct the pool are alumni by now, so in a way it was alumni money but not alumni donations to the association. I wish the students before me had done something like this so I could have worked at and enjoyed this pool as I did the original pool. But at least we had the indoor track, new weight room, and climbing wall. I guess you have to pace yourself to keep fees within somewhat reasonable.

  11. thatguy Says:

    It was fully funded by students through an increase in student recreation fees.

  12. Mario Says:

    I wish we had this back in the early 90′s when I was there… but whateverTexas Tech offered alot to do even back then…

  13. Bryce Fluker Says:

    The city should provide (directed at Kim)? This is money that Rec Sports has set aside for further development, so this money had absolutely nothing to do with the rest of TTU. This is to stay one step ahead of the predicted growth that has been foreseen and the next step is going to be a satellite Rec facility out near the intramural softball/soccer fields. I understand that you should be careful what you invest your money in, but being poorly educated/informed on a subject is no excuse for stating things that are inaccurate. Do your research next time.

  14. Bryce Fluker Says:

    Sorry, I left something out. This project STARTED with the money that the Rec Center had set aside and will then increase the student fees by a very nominal fee (~$10) now that the project is complete. Even with this increase, our Rec fees are less than schools considerably smaller than our own, such as The University of North Texas.

  15. Cody Says:

    Wish that was there when I was!

  16. Joe Stern Says:

    Awesome project for Tech! Like the others I wish it would have been there when I was a student. Guess it gives me one more reason to visit Lubbock! And yes Kim, please educate yourself on where the funding comes from before you start attacking how it was funded. Most illogical connection I’ve ever seen.

  17. Bill Says:

    What a great recruitment tool for non-athletes. While education is the top priority, we must not forget that students need a place to relax. This is a much needed facility and a great way for students to interact outside of class without leaving campus.

  18. Amanda Says:

    Kim your just jealous! The pool is awesome and we didnt need alumni donations to fund it. If you want to discontinue your donations to Tech you will miss out on many of the great things that Tech has in line for the the future. If scholarships and education is what you are looking to contribute to there are funds set up specifically for that! But leave the cool stuff to the current students… We deserve it!

  19. Hanson Says:

    NICE! can’t wait to be back in the fall

  20. Tim Says:

    GET OFF OF KIM’S BACK ALREADY. And some of you need to learn to spell… so there!

  21. Andrea Says:

    I’m so jealous! I wish I was still at Tech to use the leisure pool!

  22. Huma Says:

    im so exciteddd!!! :)

  23. ES1996 Says:

    This is yet another reason TTU is so incredibly wonderful. Nice.

  24. Jonathan Batchelor Says:

    You know, i’m sure the reason why our tuition is going up is because of this pool! Thanks Tech SO much for raising the tuition! I still love y’all though! :)

  25. colin Says:

    j8,250,000 dollars is ridiculous where did all that money go you could of put redone all of the dorms conpleatly with that kind of cash i know it might be fun but i still say its not verry nessasery i can do without it… they could of afforded a lot of new eqipment or some neaded grass seeds for grass fields with that kind of cash i think its just a wast of time.

  26. Debra Says:

    While I think the pool is very nice, I do think all that money could have gone toward better projects, such as new dorms for all the students we are trying to recruit in the next few years or scholarships. I am an Alum, but with both of my children as Tech students, I feel I have paid for this. I would have rather seen our hard-earned money go for something a little more worthwhile.

  27. Chris Says:

    Should have spent $8.25 million on recruiting a defense

  28. annoyed Says:

    This pool is a waste of money

  29. Emilee Says:

    Will this be open for visitors to the area. coming for convention in July. Looking for things my children can do.

  30. Read the Article Says:

    Do you alum and parents not understand that the students fully paid for this with a tiny increase in their rec fees, and you didn’t pay jack? Stop complaining that you footed the bill when you didn’t. Learn to read the article.

  31. More Distractions Says:

    A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects (Wikipedia). Students should be drawn to Tech for a top rate education, not a leisure pool.
    What does it say about our student body that they approved such a thing?

  32. Proud Alum Says:

    I think that it says we are not Ivy League. If a leisure pool is something that will appeal to prospective 18 year old students then who is to say that is a bad idea. I’m sure if a student was deciding between a school like Johns Hopkins and a Tech the leisure pool wouldn’t come into to play, but hey lets be honest any student that is looking into a state school will be weighing a lot more options than the academics. Lest we all forget what we thought was important when we were 18.

  33. Current Student Says:

    I think that the addition of this pool is great for Tech, but I am very unhappy that they had to raise OUR fees to build it. The fees are already too high, and they keep looking for reason to raise them more. Some of you think its fair because it was voted on, but I was not here in October of 2006 so I did not get to vote, but my fees were still raised. I think they could have built something a little more worth while that can be used in both the summer and winter, because those of us who are only at Tech in the fall/spring semesters paid for for the construction of this pool, but can’t even use it the majority of the time we are in Lubbock. If WE are going to pay for it, at least build it where WE can use it when WE are there.

  34. v Says:

    Guess what, Current Student? That’s called a democracy. There are lots of things in our world that I don’t like and didn’t vote for, but they apply to me anyway because others DID vote for them. Welcome to life.

    Yes, Tech is an institution of higher learning, but being at college doesn’t mean you have no life. Anyone participate in extracurricular activities when you were in high school? Life has to be about more than just studying.

    I think the new pool is great. It’s a shame when we have to drive to CANYON (WTAMU) to find recreation like this – - it’s about time we made an effort to keep up with the….ummm….small guys!

  35. Another Current Student Says:

    I would rather have MORE full time quality professors in place of all the under prepared part time adjunct faculty that TTU hires in the place of the expense/tuition dollars that were literally dumped into this pool. I am here to learn!! during the fall and spring, and can go the the city park or local water park to swim in the summer.

  36. Amber Says:

    This is so nice. Wish it was there when I was. I am coming back to visit and to bring my kids someday. We just have to make the trek from NC. Texas Tech needed this!

  37. TTechmom Says:

    I think that the new pool facility is awesome and like all have said before, the students need a place to unwind and have fun because GOD knows they work their butts off with classes, projects and other things that is required by Texas Tech University. I am a parent of a current student who will be a Senior this year and plans to go on to get his Masters once he gets his Bachelors degree and I love the fact that he can go there relax, take his fustration out with this area. Plus the fact that all needs exercise so this way they don’t become obese. I think its showing all other Colleges that it cares for their students health as well as their minds.

    Way to go Texas Tech University for caring enough to create this facility for them to unwind.


  38. Pyaneer Sam Says:

    When I attended Tech in the 1970s, to cool down from the summer heat,
    we went to the nearby car wash and sprayed ourselves, then washed
    our cars. But then, 4 years tuition cost only $10,000 total. I don’t know how
    parents can send their kids to college these days, unless—the college
    attracts the parents as well. This pool does that. Part of that kind of thinking goes
    into these projects since the money comes from parents investing in their kids
    future. And you know, when the Polar Ice Caps melt, we all need to know
    how to swim. Ahem.

  39. Pyaneer Sam Says:

    And Pyaneer Sam wishes to add this to his previous statement:
    And if anyone can find a better value for your higher education dollar in this
    entire Nation, I challenge you to find it! Texas Tech has been blessed with
    the most forward-thinking conservators and most generous patrons since I
    graduated in the 70s, that I am awed by how this campus has matured into
    what it is today. For ten times my 1970′s 4 year tuition, or $100,000, this University
    would still be the deal of the 21st Century. Generosity is handed down and so
    to are great facilities like the Tech Leisure Pool. In years to come, your gift will
    be appreciated by those who will know you, as an alum of this great University.

  40. Student Says:

    “Read the article”, do you honestly think that every single student at Tech is paying for their own education? I highly doubt that, since as a student at Tech, my education is being paid by my parents. Parents do have a right to complain if their money used to pay for “college” is being spent on a leisure pool. Amber and TTechmom are right that Texas Tech did need this, but they should have come up with a better way to fund the project. I know many students that have a hard enough time as it is paying for college, and a continual raise in fees for things such as ANOTHER pool and larger football stadium aren’t making it any easier. I think more students would be attracted to Tech for things such as new/nicer dorms and better food places on campus.

  41. Michael Says:


  42. Bryce Says:

    Like I previously posted at the top, some people don’t realize that the money towards the Leisure Pool has absolutely nothing to do with anything outside of the Rec Center. By this I mean that the money collected by it is in funds that can’t be put towards dorms, computers around school, more professors, etc. Tech has other fees that collect for those type of things. I also want to reiterate that students have been long over-due for Rec fee raises. Yes, it sucks, but it happens. Those fees are still cheaper than schools half the size at some universities in Texas.

  43. Courtney Terral Says:

    What is the cost for students to bring friends and family?

  44. Brian Says:

    Guests of members can access the pool. A member may sponsor in up to 4 guests. The cost is $4.00 for children and $7.00 for adults. I love this pool! My family has used it an immense number of times allready. We plan to enjoy it for years to come. I do agree that the city should also have a facility like this, however this facility at Texas Tech University will help recruite more students in the future. To all that are quivering about the small increase in Rec Center fee. Faculty and staff of the Texas Tech University System pay more than students for a membership. Their cost of membership has also increased due to the new pool. This is an awsome pool and asset to Tech.

  45. Anna Says:

    I’m a senior at Tech this year, and I think we definitely needed this. I think the 10 or so dollars I’m paying in student fees for this pool are worth it to have a place to hang out and relax where people aren’t getting drunk. If you go to any of the pools at local apartment complexes, most people there are drinking. This is a great place for students to enjoy the pool without having to also be around alcohol.

  46. Linda Says:

    As a former Tech student, I wish this was there when I was! It sure looks like something that would have me hanging out on campus in the afternoons after class to unwind after sitting in classrooms all day instead of wasting time other places. And as a former Rec Center employee, I’m sure this has attracted an increase in student usage of the facility as well as opened up many more jobs for students. Can’t wait to come back to visit!

  47. Jordan Says:

    As an undergraduate student trying to decide where to attend graduate school, it is facilities like these that ease the decision. Although the prestige of the University is important and Tech has an exemplary academic reputation, as Linda stated, school is only part of it. Student enrollment will positively affected by the building of this facility. I got to see the Rec while this was being built but I am looking forward to seeing the finished product with my own two eyes!

  48. Joshpotash Says:

    Harvard does not has one, its means the THEY STUDY HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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