North Charleston City Council finance committee

North Charleston City Council Finance Committee viewed designs Tuesday for a new aquatic center planned near Fort Dorchester high School. Mina Corpuz/Staff.

Designs for a new aquatic center by Fort Dorchester High School were unveiled at a Tuesday night North Charleston City Council finance committee meeting. 

The 54,000-square-foot facility will be on Patriot Boulevard by the high school. It will feature a 10-lane competition pool with seats for 1,000 spectators. There will also be a smaller warm-up pool, an outdoor patio, and an access road to Fort Dorchester for student traffic. 

Mayor Keith Summey said he is happy with the aquatic center designs and that plans are moving forward. He sees potential in the pool as a place to host swimming meets and other events that can draw people in from out of town and the state. 

"We can do it all in this facility," he said after the meeting. "It serves a multi-purpose that it's for the kids, it's for the community as a whole, and it's for the economic development as well." 

Construction is expected to begin in 18 months and is estimated to be complete in 2019. 

Plans for the nearly $20 million aquatic center have been in the works for several years.  

Money for the project will come from the city and Dorchester School District 2. The city and the district have had an agreement to build the pool together for the past year and a half.

North Charleston is contributing $12.4 million and the district is providing $7.5 million for the project. 

Students from North Charleston and Dorchester District 2 schools will have priority to use the pools, but the public will have access to the center.

The competition-sized pool can be divided in half, giving the public a space to swim even when schools are using the pool. It's only when there's a swim meet or other event that the pool may not be available to the public. 

SGA Architecture designed the aquatic center and presented the renderings to the committee. The design plans will later be unveiled to the county school board and the public. 

In other business, the committee recommended a $12.66 million bid for Brantley Construction to build the Intermodal Center that will serve as as hub for trains and buses. It will be up for a vote before the full council at the August meeting. 

Construction plans for the station, which will be located at the site of the Amtrak stop on Gaynor Avenue, were temporarily stalled because of a $2 million budget shortfall. CARTA was able to get the money to make up the budget gap. 

The 14,217-square-foot facility is expected to be completed during the summer of 2018. 

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Reach Mina Corpuz at 843-937-5558. Follow her on Twitter @mlcorpuz. 

Mina covers local news and North Charleston at The Post and Courier. She has written for the Boston Globe, the Sun News in Lowell, Mass. and The Daily Free Press at Boston University.

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