CORAL SPRINGS, FL - The Coral Springs Aquatic Complex will be celebrating its 30th anniversary on Sunday.
It was initially built in 1991 as a training destination for college and university swim teams but has evolved into much more.
Throughout the years, the Aquatics Complex has hosted national and international events and teams from swimming, synchronized swimming, diving, and water polo.
The complex also hosts college teams for training and has been a springboard of Olympic swimmers, including the comeback of Parkland’s Dara Torres, a 5-time Olympian, and the late 5-time Olympic swim coach Michael Lohberg, whom the competitive 50-meter pool is named in his honor. He also was the head coach of the Coral Springs Swim Club housed at the facility.
“It’s still here and it is bigger and busier than ever,” said Jay Walsh, who has worked for the city since 2012 and has been the aquatics center administrator since 2015.
He has overseen several facelifts to the complex including the 50-meter competition pool three-and-a-half years ago, which included making the pool a foot deeper, with new gutters and liners.
“It was pretty much a new pool, with the exception of a new floor,” Walsh said. “In early 2015, we put in a new liner in the dive well. We also put in a new soft water landing system for the divers, and we just finished relining our 25-yard pool and that opened up about two weeks ago.”
Other substantial changes have been made to the 25-meter FINA-designed pool. The complex also added an artificial turf area for dry-land and outdoor fitness and strength-training for athletes that is about 25-yards long and runs alongside the 50-meter pool.
“It looks nothing like it did when it opened,” Walsh said. “Over the years, there have been two additional pools added -- in the mid-90s, a 25-yard, 25-meter pool at the far east of the facility was added. Around 2001, behind our scoreboard, we added the pool for teaching swim lessons and water fitness programs.”
Over the years, the cost of improvements to the center’s building, land, and other facilities was close to $8.3 million.
Also worth noting: the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex was the first U.S. facility to host an event on the Finswimming World Cup circuit.
“We were definitely happy to bring in teams from all over the world for the finswimming competition. Word is spreading about what we’re doing,” Walsh said.