North Charleston aquatic center

An excavator readies the land for a ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday for a new aquatics center at 8500 Patriot Boulevard in North Charleston. Brenda Rindge/staff

North Charleston will soon be home to the largest aquatics center in the Lowcountry.

Officials from the city and Dorchester School District 2 are set to break ground on the new center at 8500 Patriot Blvd. at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Aquatics center (copy)

A rendering of the aquatic center planned to be built by Fort Dorchester High School. Provided/SGA Architecture

The $22 million facility will feature a 50-meter, 10-lane pool and a 25-yard therapeutic pool, spectator seating, locker rooms, administrative offices, and community meeting space.

The project also includes a road to connect Patriot Boulevard to Fort Dorchester High School, which currently only has one entry.

School district voters approved spending $7.5 million for a pool in 2012. 

At the time, the district was planning to partner with the Summerville Family YMCA to build a 25-yard pool, but North Charleston officials saw an opportunity and pitched the idea for a bigger offering.

The 53,000-square-foot natatorium will be capable of hosting state and national level competitions, but priority will be provided to school district programs and area residents.

“From this partnership, a better facility with improved access will be available to serve the public,” North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said. “Once completed, the Aquatics Center impact will be far-reaching. Countless DD2 students and North Charleston residents will learn to swim, the school district’s aquatics programming will finally have an appropriate home, and we will proudly host swimming competitors from around the country.”

The center, scheduled to be completed in late 2019, will be located on city-owned property adjacent to Fort Dorchester High School. Project costs have been shared with DD2 contributing $7.5 million towards the construction.

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Reach Brenda Rindge at 843-937-5713. Follow her on Twitter @brindge.

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