ELKHART: New Aquatic Center to impact local students

Acquatic Center construction in Elkhart // WSBT 22 photo

A new center aquatic center in Elkhart will have a huge impact on students.

Both high school swim teams and students in all grade levels will have access to the facility.

School leaders say the aquatic center will give students access to one of the nation's premiere aquatic facilities.

Superintendent Rob Haworth says the new center will be home to swimming and aquatic programs for the Elkhart school system.

"What this represents is unprecedented. Maybe not in any other school corporation in the state of Indiana, to have access to these types of aquatic facilities," Haworth said.

Haworth says the center presents new opportunities for students.

"The opportunity to provide swimming lessons, water safety classes, the ability to bring physical education classes to this facility," Haworth said.

Haworth says the project couldn't have come at a better time, because the district is trying figure what to do with two aging high school pools at Central and Memorial.

The Central pool was built in 1969, and has outdated equipment.

Elkhart Schools CEO Tony Gianesi says the same goes for the Memorial pool built in 1972.

"We would find the original heat exchanger from 1972. That's what keeps the pool water warm. We would also find some original pumps. We would find filter systems that are at least 25 years old," Gianesi said.

The school system currently pays on going maintenance cost for both pools.

Both pools are safe, however it would cost a total of 14 million dollars to replace both pools.

City leaders hope the aquatic center could also be used for state and national swimming events.

In the brochure that they handed out Wednesday, they say they'd like to target two diving meets a year, four high school league championships or invitationals, and four US Masters meets a year.

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