06 April 2019, 09:08am
The International Swimming Hall of Fame hosted its groundbreaking ceremony for the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center 27 Million renovation project on Friday. The event was witnessed by hundreds of local media, swimmers, and south Florida citizens to celebrate the beginning of the future of the Swimming Hall of Fame Aquatic Center, Fort Lauderdale.
“Time took its toll on this facility and it is no longer up to standard. But I believe that the new facility that is going to be built is going to bring this area back to the center of Fort Lauderdale,”-Ron O’Brien, five-time Olympic diving coach.
“This was our home and we were sad it wasn’t kept up. And we were very sad that it might have to go. The same way, we are very happy today. This is not only south Florida’s home of swimmers, but the whole world looks up to the place. And many kids all over the place want to be a part of that,”-Jesse Vassallo, 1980, 84 US Olympian.
“I have to thank Mayor Dean Trantalis, Commissioners Steven Glassman, Ben Sorensen, Heather Moraitis and Bob McKinzie. Without their votes taking this thing over the finish line, we wouldn’t even be here. The memories here with the Hall of Fame as an internationally recognized institution have only been run by the passion of the staff for so many years. I have to recognize Laurie Marchwinski, Ivonne Schmid, Meg Keller-Marvin, Bruce Wigo, without their daily dedication to run this thing with the passion they did we would not be here today,”-Brent Rutemiller, ISHOF CEO.
Olympians Jesse Vassallo, Ryan Lochte and Caeleb Dressel were also on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new renovations to the pool.
Photo Courtesy: International Swimming Hall of Fame
The renovations will include:
- Remove existing 50m competition pool and provide a new expanded fully FINA compliant standard pool with stainless bulkheads.
- Remove existing diving pool and provide new fully FINA compliant diving pool and tower including five platform levels (1m, 3m, 5m, 7m, 10m), and 1m and 3m springboards
- Remove existing spa for divers and provide new spa
- Repair existing 50m training pool with new surfacing and gutters
- Relocate and expand the instructional pool to the southwest corner of the peninsula
- Provide new filtration system, pumps, and chlorination system for all pools.
- Resurface and raise pool deck to allow for increased pool depths for competition-level use
- Remove existing grandstand building and bleachers on north side of facility and provide new grandstand with spectator restrooms, concessions, ticket office, and metal bleachers for +/ 1500 spectator capacity.
- Provide site improvements that include parking and drainage improvements, new stadium lighting, landscaping, sidewalks, and new main entry plaza.
The Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex has been in place since December 1965 when the International Swimming Hall of Fame inducted its first class. Since then, it has played host to numerous international and national level events in aquatic sports and has had ten world records fall from swimming legends Mary T. Meagher, Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin.
The main competition pool is currently closed and the facility will officially close April 17. The finished renovations are scheduled to finish in October 2020.