LOS ANGELES—The University of Southern California has plans in place to renovate and expand its Uytengsu Aquatic Center. Commercial builder, Bernards has been tapped as the general contractor for the $12.5 million project, which should complete by April 2014.

“We are excited to be chosen to manage this project,” said Jeff M. Bernards, VP and project executive of Uytengsu, in a statement.  “As with any school or sports stadium project, the major challenge is keeping facilities functional while construction proceeds.  In this case,” he noted, “the pools must remain open and operational during construction.”

Plans call for adding 18,000 square feet to the current facility as well as permanent seating for 1,500 people, shade canopies and lighting for nighttime events. The facility, formerly known as the McDonalds Olympic Swim Stadium and Kennedy Aquatics Building, has hosted a number of national and international swimming, diving and water polo events, including the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.

USC is able to renovate the building thanks to a large anonymous donation that was specifically slated for the project. Berkley, Calif.-based ELS Architecture and Urban Design drew up the plans for the renovation, which will combine Italian Romanesque architectural style with the contemporary facility. Other improvements include a new entrance, open-air diving, dry-land training area, men’s and women’s locker rooms, coach’s offices, team meeting rooms and an observation deck. When complete the facility will total 85,000 sq. ft.