The Dr. Susan Bardwell Aquatics Center grand opening on Saturday was the culmination of a seven-year journey to reestablish a competition pool in Plymouth. Both the High School and Sharks Swim Club programs have continued, but the christening of the pool marks the return of competitive swimming in Plymouth.
Plymouth has had a long successful history of competitive swim teams at the high school and club sport levels. In recent seasons the teams have had to travel for practice and meets. Having a facility of this caliber in the city and the addition of a collegiate swim program at Ancilla bodes well for the future of competitive swimming in Plymouth.
Developing the Center was a unique effort with 26 organizations involved in the highly collaborative $11 million project. The aquatic center facility will provide a variety of activities for the Marshall County community. Programs to improve the safety of the area with swim lessons and lifesaving will be a vital benefit to the children of Marshall County. The facility will also be host to several competitive swim events bringing visitors and an economic boost to the area.
“Having a facility like the Dr. Susan Bardwell Aquatics Center locate in Plymouth will improve the safety and quality of life for the residents of the area,” said Mayor Mark Senter. “This facility will help in our efforts to attract residents and families to the area.”
The City of Plymouth, Plymouth Community School Corporation and Ancilla College will lease the aquatic center facilities for competition and educational activities. The pool will be the home for their swim teams along with providing opportunities for physical education and lifesaving instruction.
“The goal was to ultimately create a venue that that community and those who use the facility could be proud of and put to close 7 years of hard work by a group of committed local leaders,” according to Jerry Chavez, President /CEO of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation. “It’s amazing to understand that over 17 agencies have collaborated together to fund and support construction of this project.”
The Aquatic Center has been made possible by a truly unique financing plan that leveraged over $3 million of funding through New Market Tax Credits and Regional Cities funding. The development broke ground in July 2018. The finished product is a 27,000 square foot facility with a 10-land pool, 2 diving boards, 3 family changing rooms and seating for over 435 people.
Photos: Guest speakers at Opening: Jerry Chavez, City Attorney Sean Surrisi, Mayor Mark Senter, John DeSalle Regional Development Authority, Melissa Christiansen from the Plymouth School Board, Leanne Senter Swim Coach, Angie Drury, Julie Crews Barger Capital Campaign, Rick and Barb Miller and Mr. Ian Bardwell, son of Dr. Susan bardwell.
Leanne Senter jumps off the diving board as Haley Church (front) and others jump in to christen the Dr. Susan Bardwell Aqautics Center Pool Saturday.