After construction delays last school year and years of planning for the project, students and community members are finally swimming in the state-of-the-art waters at the Lewisville District’s new aquatic center.
The center boasts a massive pool featuring up to 31 lanes for competition with diving boards and bulkheads to separate the pool into three spaces.
Facility Director Shannon Gillespy says the pool itself was actually designed for the 2012 Olympic Games, and she worked with the creators to see that it was at the cutting edge for the district’s needs.
In addition, the facility features seating for 1,200 spectators, a weight room, separate locker rooms for students and the public, concession stands, classroom space and parking to be shared with the LHS Harmon campus.
Designers also decked out the pool with sensors to detect false starts and response time on the starting blocks and hidden features like DVR-linked cameras above the diving boards so divers can perfect their technique.
"It's way better than our old pool,” said Lewisville High School junior Sydney Boyer. “We have the best equipment, and we're really lucky to have any of it."
The aquatic center was bonded for by LISD voters in 2008 at a price tag of just over $20 million, and completion was originally pegged for November 2013.
Several delays came up during construction, though, including issues getting the equipment.
"The delays just made us want it more," said Gillespy, whose team is leaving the issues in the past.
The district says the final price tag came in just under budget.
The facility will primarily serve as home turf for the Lewisville, Marcus and Flower Mound High School swimming and diving programs with space for all three to practice simultaneously - an issue in the past at their old shared space.
Local club teams as well as school synchronized swimming, masters and water polo programs will also utilize the space, and it will be open to the community for open swim, lessons and rentals.
Gillespy says local hospitals are already taking advantage of the temperature controlling abilities of the pool to use it for therapy swim as well.
The district will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at the facility on Sept. 30 at 10 a.m.