Monday, January 31, 2022
  Community, Athletics

By News and Internal Communications

By Marisol Villarreal

UTRGV, in partnership with the City of Pharr and the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, on Jan. 29 celebrated the opening of a natatorium designed to benefit the entire community with its state-of-the-art facilities.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the natatorium, which will be used by the university’s women’s swimming and diving programs for training, has been made possible through the vision and collaborative hard work of many.

“We are excited for the future and for the opportunities this will provide," Bailey said. "As always, we are grateful to the City of Pharr for its continued support of the university, the UTRGV community and the entire Rio Grande Valley.”

Officials from UTRGV, the city, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo schools and the community attended the grand opening at the aquatics center, which is located on the northwest corner of Sioux Road and US 281 in Pharr.

swimmer at new Natatorium in Pharr
(UTRGV Photo by David Pike)

The facility features a 50-meter competition pool, a dive pool with springboards and platforms, and spectator seating.  

Bailey and University of Texas Regent Dr. Nolan Perez shared their appreciation for the partnership and for the city's $5,000 donation to the university’s swimming and upcoming diving program.

Perez said it is important to have a state-of-the-art facility like this one as a means, in part, of educating young children about swimming and water safety.

“I'm very excited not only for the competitions that will take place here on the high school and intercollegiate levels, but about being able to have the opportunity to teach second-graders how to swim. This natatorium, really, can allow for that opportunity," Perez said.

Pharr Mayor Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez said everyone is excited about the many opportunities the partnership will provide.  

“We’re very thankful to the university for choosing the City of Pharr for these great ideas to bring together our city and our community, with a Rio Grande Valley benefit, ” he said.   

A spokesperson for the city said the natatorium will be open to the public, but days and times of operation have not yet been finalized.  

Pending approval by the UT System Board of Regents, UTRGV will utilize the natatorium for competitions in 2024, with 2023 focused on recruitment at the high school level.

Natatorium Opening
(UTRGV Photo by David Pike)


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.