It was fashioned to meet or exceed Olympic standards so that it could host major swimming and diving events. Nearly two acres in size, the Aquatic Center houses the Dorothy L. Sheppard Pool, a 50-meter competition pool, eight lanes wide and eight feet deep, with a movable bulkhead. The separate diving well features a pair of one-and three-meter boards, as well as 1, 5, 7.5 and 10-meter diving platforms. In addition to the 1,346 permanent seats, there is room for 1,200 temporary bleachers. In 2005, the Aquatic Center added a new state-of-the-art video display system completed at a cost of $250,000. Purchased and installed through Colorado Timing Systems, the 21-foot by 10-foot digital video display is the largest permanent video installation in an aquatic facility in the United States. Skylights run the length of the ceiling, reducing the need for electric lighting at daytime events. Fifty-four loudspeakers surrounding the pool give it "the best acoustics in the country," according to aquatics director Duane Proell.
The Aquatic Center has been the site for some of the top swimming and diving events in the country: nine Big Ten Championships, six NCAA Championships, many national and international competitions and countless State High School Championships.