“It’s a project five years in the making and crews are now working to build the Aquatic Center in North Charleston near Fort Dorchester High School.

North Charleston City Councilman Ron Brinson says, “We have some site work beginning and the actual construction should start in the next two to three weeks.”

This $22.5 million project is a joint effort between the City of North Charleston and Dorchester District 2. DD2 is contributing $7.5 million and North Charleston is paying the remaining $15 million.

Brinson says, “This is going to be a gathering place for all of the high schools in our area for competitive swimming and also for some national groups. We already have interest in that. Swimming has become a very popular sport for young people and for us old folks alike.”

The center will contain a 10 lane Olympic-size swimming pool and a warm-up pool. It will be used for competitions, community exercise, and in-school swim lessons.

Brinson says, “We are working with the school districts now to make sure that the pool, one of the priorities will be to give lessons to those children who need swim lessons. The goal will be that every child learns how to swim.”

In order to ease some of the increased congestion, there will be a new road built connecting Patriot Boulevard and Fort Dorchester High School.

Brinson says, “That’s very important because this school has grown to be about 2,500 students, and on any given school day we’ll have as many as 3,200 people back here with one way in, one way out. That’s a public safety issue that we wanted to address with this project.”

He says they will also be able to use some of Fort Dorchester High School’s parking lot for the Aquatic Center’s patrons.

The project is expected to complete in about 17 months, so near the end of 2019.”

Brittany Grabski