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Cumming Aquatic Center Coming Along Swimmingly

City officials hope to have the beautiful new center opened by June.

Cumming's new $13 million aquatic center is coming along swimmingly.

Project Manager Ray Neal said it will be completed in mid-May. City officials will take a couple of weeks for a final inspection before opening the doors to visitors sometime in June.

The 50,000-square foot facility was designed by the Howell Group of Marietta and was loosely modeled after the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center in Gainesville.

"We're very excited about this project," Cumming Assistant Administrator Steve Bennett said recently. "It's going to be a great benefit to the community."

Swimming has become a very popular sport at the high school level and Bennett anticipates being able to host regional and state meets."When you have special events like that, it has a ripple effect on the local economy with people coming here and staying at the hotels and motels and shopping locally and eating at our restaurants."

The center will include two indoor pools, one of which will be a 10-lane, Olympic-sized 50-meter competition pool with permanent seating for more than 700 spectators and temporary seating for an additional 300. Permanent seating is on the second level and every seat has an excellent view of the pool.

The second indoor pool will have a therapeutic pool with four lanes that is wheelchair accessible. There also is a spacious dressing area with lockers.

Outdoors there is a kiddie play pool plus a lazy river spray and mushroom area surrounded by cabanas. Like most capital projects the city builds, the aquatic center will be fully funded before it opens.

Forsyth County agreed to be a partner, committing $10 million from a $100 million green space SPLOST.

"Like everything we build, it's a county facility too," Bennett said. The facility will be open to everyone, but Bennett noted, "We're going to take care of city and county residents first.

"City officials haven't decided on how to charge for admission yet, but they have decided not to sell memberships. Day passes for individuals and families are being considered.

Bennett also anticipates renting swim lanes in the competition pool to local high schools and community swim teams that want to practice in an Olympic-sized pool.

Sadly, City Park pool which was built in 1972 where so many Forsyth County natives spent their summer days, has outlived its usefulness and will be closed.

Bennett said the pool started falling in attendance when the building boom hit and so many new subdivisions began building their own community pools. But it was those community pools that seemed to spark an interest in competitive swimming.

"That interest is what got this project going," Bennett said.

City officials expect to hire a manager, assistant manager and operations manager. Applications will be accepted at the end of February.

sherry June 03, 2011 at 02:36 AM
Can one swim in the outdoor pool or is it mostly for kids? I understand there are two indoor pools but one won't be used except for competition so that leaves the other pool for swimming and exercise only. I've been watching the news and reading the Patch for updates - i hope they will open before June is over.
Liz Kennedy June 07, 2011 at 09:47 PM
Hi Patcher's, QUICK UPDATE: Please check our latest story on some of your questions here: http://patch.com/A-h3cP and as of Tuesday, June 6, according to Cumming City Administrator Gerald Blackburn, no official opening date has been determined. He hopes to have an opening date to announce sometime next week and we will have that information here on Cumming Patch.
ansley June 27, 2011 at 09:42 PM
i went to the aquatic center today in cumming ga with my neighbors they are 7 and 9 years old and they loved it so much. i think the lazy river was a great thing to add. i was a little disapointed about the pools there are only 2 indoor pools and no outside ones and the in side pools only allowed you in one of the pools and you must be 48 inches to go on the 1 slide. but over all it was fun and great for kids.
sherry June 28, 2011 at 12:18 AM
Thanks Ansley. I was so afraid that this would be the case. Where do adults get to swim or just relax in the pool - just to cool off from the hot summer? How deep is the outdoor pool? I'm sure hoping to have aerobic classes in the theraputic pool and at times I can attend. It will be maddening if after several years that I have been waiting for this pool area to be built, that they don't have it open at times I can swim. I work 8-5pm mon thru fri and would love to get some exercise after work. I'm glad it's a nice place for the children though - I'm sure it's going to be very crowded most days.
Conni July 29, 2011 at 02:38 AM
Kudos to the designers of the aquatic center. The "lazy" river is anything but: The kids are bouncing, swimming, moving, resisting the current, and getting lots of exercise. As a senior citizen, I felt I got a decent workout too. I WOULD like to see a regular pool outside. The lap pool and instructional pool are awesome. All in all, this facility is a coup for Forsyth County. Does anyone know what's going to happen to the old city pool?

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