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NMSU unveils new locker room for swimming and diving student-athletes

The student-athletes of New Mexico State University?s swimming and diving team now have a private area to prepare for practices and meets, thanks to a substantial gift from a family with ties to the swim team?s early years.


Large group cuts ribbon
Members of the Glass family cut the ceremonial ribbon for the new Wanda Glass Family Swimming and Diving Locker Room at New Mexico State University?s Aquatic Center, flanked by Director of Athletics Mario Moccia and swimming and diving head coach Rick Pratt, left, student regent Amanda Lopez-Askin, fourth from left, swim team captain Natalie French, center, and NMSU President Garrey Carruthers, right. (NMSU Photo by Darren Phillips)
Ladies uncover sign on wall
Sisters Smoky Glass Torgerson, left, and Linda Glass Schroeder unveil the sign for the new locker room, named for their mother, Wanda Glass.

The new locker room facility, which also features a lounge area where the athletes can study and office space for the coaching staff, was unveiled in a ribbon-cutting and naming ceremony Friday, Feb. 19, at the NMSU Aquatic Center.

The Wanda Glass Family Swimming and Diving Locker Room was made possible by a gift from Smoky Glass Torgerson and her husband, Alan. Smoky?s sister, Linda Glass Schroeder, was the first head coach of NMSU?s swim team in the 1970s. Smoky and Alan, along with other members of the Glass family, named the facility for Smoky and Linda?s mother, Wanda Glass.

Work on the facility ? which was designed by ASA Architects and constructed by Western Builders, both of Las Cruces ? was recently completed, and head swimming and diving coach Rick Pratt said the upgraded space supports the student-athletes in many ways.

?We are already very fortunate to train in this great space under the beautiful New Mexican sky, and to spend a lot of time here at the pool,? Pratt said. ?But with the added lounge, offices and locker room space, they?ll be able to really enjoy the Aquatic Center during the time spent outside of our intense training sessions. It?s now a place where they can come to study, recover, relax and enjoy their time with one another.?

Pratt said the new facility is also an important recruiting tool for the swimming and diving program.

?This project shows Aggie recruits that we value the experience of our athletes and that we have the facilities and support to allow them to succeed,? he said. ?It also gives the facility a ?wow? factor that will help us compete against other programs.?

Torgerson, who is a member of the NMSU Foundation Board of Directors, said her family saw an urgent need for an upgrade ? the team had long been sharing lockers and showers with public users of the Aquatic Center and needed a private space. NMSU Director of Athletics Mario Moccia said the new facility is also a tremendous improvement from a Title IX standpoint.

Team captain Natalie French, who was born in Las Cruces and returned to her hometown for college, said the new space will help bring the team together.

?I originally learned to swim here at the NMSU pool. I love to say that the place I began my career is the same place I'll end it in a year from now,? French said. ?Having this new space on the pool deck means so much to me and the rest of the team ? it intensifies the team experience and unifies us.?

The Glass family has been part of the Las Cruces community for almost a century, beginning with D.L. and Eva Glass in 1920. The family has remained dedicated to the Las Cruces community and NMSU, and includes several generations of Aggie alumni.

?My whole family has been entrenched at NMSU and seen it grow at a level that?s been amazing,? Torgerson said. ?I just feel very proud of what NMSU has done and continues to do for students.?