“We are hoping all of the upcoming swim meets in the end of this month can be done here at the Destin Aquatics Center.”
ABRAHAM GALVAN @destinlogabe
DESTIN — The Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation is in the final stages of completing renovations to the Destin Aquatics Center and hope to open its doors soon.
Permits are in place to meet the requirements of the Florida Department of Health and the city of Destin, according to Pam Braseth, the foundation’s secretary.
“From my understanding, contractors will start (Friday),” Braseth said. “We are still fundraising for heating and air conditioning, and also need funds for equipment.
“We are hoping we don’t need more funding to open, but we would like to have some cushion to fall back on,” she added. “We never know what we are going to encounter once we start construction. It’s called construction creep.”
The pools at the center will be used by residents and and swim teams, and will host swim meets throughout the year.
“We are hoping all of the upcoming swim meets in the end of this month can be done here at the Destin Aquatics Center,” Braseth said.
The center has been closed since the local YMCA declared bankruptcy and shut down in 2014. The Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation formed a year later and re-opened the YMCA pool facility in Fort Walton Beach in December 2015.
The foundation secured a contract with the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation to take over the pools in Destin and have been raising money since January.
“There were delays because codes have changed since the pools were last open,” Destin City Councilwoman Prebble Ramswell said. “The center not only had to meet the requirements get the pools operational, but get up to current codes.”
Ramswell said the Department of Health had to clear the facility before the city can sign off on permits.
“The city then can sign the permits so the contractors can do the necessary work,” she said.
Ramswell said everything will be up to current standards.
“I am going to be very excited to finally get into that beautiful pool,” she said.