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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Collegiate School Aquatics Center Opens to Public


Grand Opening Celebration Marks Arrival of World-Class Aquatics Facility in Chesterfield County Virginia

Over four years ago, a group of local residents had a dream to bring world-class swimming and increased water safety to the greater Richmond area and today, that dream became a reality with the official opening of the Greater Richmond Aquatics Partnership’s state-of-the-art facility, the Collegiate School Aquatics Center, with the expectation to host an estimated 400,000+ number of visitors annually.

The Greater Richmond Aquatics Partnership (GRAP) is the unprecedented collaboration of five long-standing and impactful area organizations that include Collegiate School, Poseidon Swimming, Trinity Episcopal School, Richmond Kickers and the Sports Backers.

“Dozens of community leaders, parents and area residents have collaboratively worked together to elevate swimming as a life-long, participatory sport in Richmond and I am pleased to be associated with the many men and women who have worked tirelessly to bring this facility to our community,” said Bobby Ukrop, President of the Greater Richmond Aquatics Partnership. “All of us who worked on this endeavor know the possibilities that it brings to our area – especially serving the needs of the thousands of area children who do not have access to swim lessons and water safety programs.”

Located in Ukrop Park in northern Chesterfield County, the 54,000+ square foot facility boasts three pools including the 50 meter, eight lane Myrtha Pool from the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, a therapy pool with two underwater treadmills and diagnostic video equipment, and a 25-yard, warm water pool for lessons. An expansive 7,000 square foot mezzanine grandstand can hold up to 700 spectators. The fully accessible facility boasts a community room, ample parking and locker facilities. In the future, a 5,000 square foot space is planned for physical therapy and rehabilitation services.

“We are so fortunate to have such a well-constructed center with state-of-the-art equipment, but the heart of the facility is the community-wide focus on water safety, health and fitness, sports tourism and competitive swimming,” said Adam Kennedy, Executive Director, Greater Richmond Aquatics Partnership.  “The Collegiate School Aquatics Center is open to area residents of all ages and will primarily be available for community use with less than 20% of the pool being used for competitive swimming.”

Among the attendees to the ceremony will be a former Virginia resident very familiar with the Myrtha Pool at the new Collegiate School Aquatics Center, Katie Hoff. The former Olympian, who competed in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympic Games, swam in the pool at the 2008 Olympic Trials in Omaha before earning bronze medals in Beijing. A world record holder, Hoff now resides and trains in Florida.

The Aquatics Center will provide an economic boost to the region with 40 new jobs now and additional ones once the physical therapy facility opens. With the ability to host significant swim competitions; all sanctioned by Virginia and USA Swimming, GRAP anticipates the facility will bring over $2 million to the area annually through sports tourism. It is estimated that the Collegiate School Aquatics Center cost over $14 million to build and will host its first competitive meet on April 20 with Poseidon’s Fresh Start Invitational. To learn more about the water safety and swim instruction programs available to community, please contact Adam Kennedy at 804-334-7669.

Photo By SportsBackers