HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A state-of-the art swimming facility is about two and half months from completion on the West End.
NOVA of Virginia Aquatics is awaiting the opening of its new home in Regency Mall. It will occupy the old Macy’s department store and feature a 50-meter competition pool, two 25-meter warm-up pools, plenty of locker room facilities and spacious pool deck areas. Phase two of the construction will include seating on the second floor of the venue that will be on all four sides of the competition pool.
“We’ve been inside a lot of natatoriums and aquatic centers and seen what works,” said NOVA manager of operations and facilities manager Drew Hirth. “We were able to borrow a lot of ideas and tailor the design of the space to what we need.”
NOVA considered expanding its current facility on Gayton Road, but when that didn’t pan out, officials began seeking a new space. Finding an existing building with a shell already in place, along with electrical work and other utilities already in place was big for the organization in terms of cost. The current venue will remain open as the club will operate both buildings.
It’s a project that will cost between $10 million and $11 million dollars. NOVA, a non-profit organization, has received donations from members and is continuing its fundraising efforts. Henrico County and Regency Mall ownership have also supported the new facility.
The pool is expected to host bigger competitions and meets once operational. The current NOVA venue has 20 lanes, while the new building will boast up to 46 lanes.
“What we’re able to offer for our families is much more convenient practice times, less-crowded lanes, expanded group offerings, there are some groups were going to be able to create we don’t have now within our program,” Hirth noted. “The ability to train in 50-meter water, the ability to have competitions and not ask our families to travel for our long course season which runs from April to the end of July, it’s going to be really important for us to be able to offer.”
The building will also offer plenty of parking and spectator seating, especially when the second-floor mezzanine level is complete.
“We’re excited for July 5 and opening the doors up and getting the water in the pool itself and that first day when we have kids in the water is going to be really, really awesome.”
NOVA also points out that the community will be able to take advantage of the new pools. The organization expects to offer adult fitness classes, lessons and swimming for people with disabilities.
For more information on NOVA and the new facility, visit here.
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