As someone who has been heavily vested in the local swimming community for more than two decades, I’m thrilled that there will be another Olympic-size pool in the area. This is a step in the right direction.
But Greenville’s Westside Aquatic Complex is not the model that should be used. The complex is severely lacking in deck space, and its pool depth is not conducive to hosting fast swim meets. It isn’t even the best pool in the state.
Both the University of South Carolina’s pool and the Middle Tyger Y’s pool in Spartanburg are substantially better than Westside.
Charleston needs a natatorium — something like the one Greensboro, N.C., built two years ago. If the money is to be spent to develop aquatics in the Lowcountry, we should do it right.
My last point goes to North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey who claims that “pools don’t make money and never will.” Pools are fully capable of sustaining themselves financially if they are managed by the right people and utilized fully.