One of the finest facilities in the nation when it was completed in 1971, this building was named for Stephen L. Richards. Besides being a proponent of physical education and good sportsmanship, Richards served on the BYU Board of Trustees, as assistant commissioner of Church education and as a counselor in the First Presidency for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The facility includes three Olympic-size heated swimming pools which serve as the home for BYU's men's and women's swimming and diving teams. Pool facilities include aluminum diving boards, under-water lighting, observation and photography windows, permanent racing lanes and equipment for beginning swimmers and family groups.
The Dance Studio Theatre, also located in the Richards Building, serves as a studio and performance space for smaller ensembles and student showcase events from the Department of Dance. The theatre features fully retractable seating, allowing the space to function as a classroom studio during academic hours. Seating capacity is 336. Beginning fall 2008 this theatre features reserved seating to all events.
The Richards Building houses the Department of Dance in the College of Fine Arts and Communications.
The building has been a popular student destination since its completion. It is used frequently for intramural and other activities by students as well as being the home of physical education on campus.