North Charleston to break ground on region's largest aquatics center
The City of North Charleston, in partnership with Dorchester County School District 2 (DD2), will break ground on a new aquatics center on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 9 am. The location of the new facility will be 8500 Patriot Blvd.
Since the conception of the partnership, the initiative expanded from a facility to provide aquatics access for water safety and athletic exercise to a 53,000 SF natatorium capable of hosting state and national level competitions. While priority scheduling will be provided to DD2 programs and the general public, the facility’s positive impact on the community will be even more considerable.
DD2 Superintendent Joseph R. Pye stated, “Dorchester School District Two is proud to partner with the City of North Charleston to build the Aquatics Center by Fort Dorchester High School. It will provide a first-class swimming competition venue and a learning environment for students and their families, serving the taxpayers in our area with a quality facility unlike any other in the Lowcountry.”
“From this partnership, a better facility with improved access will be available to serve the public,” added North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey. “Once completed, the Aquatics Center impact will be far-reaching. Countless DD2 students and North Charleston residents will learn to swim, the school district’s aquatics programming will finally have an appropriate home, and we will proudly host swimming competitors from around the country. The vision of this place is everlasting with many generations ahead reaping its benefits.”
The $22.5 million aquatics center, scheduled to be completed in late 2019, will be located on city-owned property adjacent to Fort Dorchester High School. Project costs have been shared with DD2 contributing $7.5 million towards the construction.
Within the facility, a 50-meter, 10-lane pool and a 25-yard therapeutic pool will be constructed, along with spectator seating, locker rooms, administrative offices, and community meeting space. Due to the versatility of multiple pools, an array of programming will be accommodated.
Also within the scope of the project, a roadway will be constructed for better and safer ingress and egress to Fort Dorchester High School, which currently only has a single point of entry/exit. This road, connecting Patriot Blvd. and the high school, will enhance normal school traffic operations, as well as improve school safety, in the case of an emergency.
To view a video showcasing work at the site, visit https://youtu.be/fgi8bLp41m8.
At one time, a regional natatorium was considered for Daniel Island, but ultimately the idea didn’t float.