Designs for West Ashley aquatic center revealed

Published: May. 24, 2016 at 11:35 PM EDT|Updated: May. 24, 2016 at 11:43 PM EDT
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WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - A special meeting was held Tuesday where a design team revealed early plans for a proposed aquatic center for West Ashley.

"It's so cool," West Ashley swimmer Grace Arredondo said. "They have three pools. They have a diving well and big Olympic pool so's surreal because we've never known anything like that in Charleston."

Charleston City Council got a first look at the design, following an extensive $75,000 study.

Councilmember Kathleen Wilson is spearheading the project, which could be built as part of a coming development south of Citadel Mall near Sam Rittenberg and Orleans Rd.

"There's nobody that can't be served by aquatics, even those that can't swim, we can teach," Wilson said. "It's more than a sport or an activity. It's a lifesaver. It can be used for such a wealth of purposes...for all ages, all economic levels, both genders."

The state-of-the-art center needs to be approved by city council before moving forward, but Wilson said the vision includes a publicity facility that locals could use through various rates of membership or alternately, a daily admission fee.

The center has the potential to attract major swim meets, which Wilson said could be a major boost to the economy and West Ashley neighborhood.

"As a council we're trying to turn our attention to West Ashley and reinvigorate an area of town that has been lacking in attention over the last few years,"
Wilson said Tuesday.

Design estimates project construction to cost $38 million.

"A place for people to come together and exercise and meet are always worth tax dollars," West Ashley resident Liz McNulty said. "I think it would revitalize…and bring more business to the area."

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