Ever since the construction team arrived on the Lawrenceville campus back in Spring 2020, students and faculty alike have been anticipating the opening of the new Tsai Field House. With construction of the first phase of the field house being completed this past summer, a number of student athletes and coaches have already been able to use the new facilities. Meanwhile, the rest of the Lawrenceville community has been able to observe the sparkling new architecture of the Tsai Field House, which will officially open in September.
The Water Polo team is one group of students that has been consistently paying visits to the facility, namely to the newly constructed pool and locker rooms. “So far, it looks really nice…It is a lot brighter than the old pool, and the bleachers are nicer,” said Vivian Teeley ’24, a member of the Girls’ Varsity Water Polo team. Specifically, she noted how the locker rooms are “more modern,” with individual shower stalls and better-maintained lockers, where her team has “had some great pre-practice dance parties, pep talks, and whiteboard sessions…It’s a great space.”
Alexander Xia ’23, a member of the Boy’s Varsity Swimming Team, also commented on how the architecture of the facility “looks very modern.”
The remodeled pool, in particular, has been particularly exciting for athletes. “My favorite thing about [the field house] is the pool, and I’m really excited because it’s a wakeless pool,” said Teeley. A wakeless pool is one that has a gutter at water level, meaning that water does not splash off the walls of the pool and does not slow down swimmers in the outer lanes.
Coach Stefanie Harrison of the Girls’ Varsity Water Polo team added that “the pool is definitely better for competition…It is much wider in length, which is exciting for both water polo and swimming,” Harrison said.
Despite the improvements, however, some students expressed concerns with the new pool. Teeley lamented about the lack of natural light in the new space, “which [makes it] a little gloomy when you are swimming laps.”
Aside from the locker rooms and the swimming pool, Tenzin Tsepel ’26 highlighted the new and improved court area and gym, which features a variety of new workout machines. Her “favorite thing has to be the court and gym…There is a lot of space to work out and practice.” When asked about one aspect of the field house she would improve, Tsepel mentioned improving the air conditioning in the new building: “Although there are a lot of fans, it gets really hot easily.”
Reminiscing all the “fast swims, big wins, and pool records” that occured in the old field house, Harrison commented on the amount of “history there that will be missed…It holds a lot of memories for many decades of Lawrentians.” Even though bidding farewell to the old field house may be difficult, many are looking forward to being able to use and enjoy the new Tsai Field House. Harrison excitedly summarized, “I think the building is beautiful, inside and out.”