HAMPTON, Va. – City officials in Hampton held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday for the Hampton Virginia Aquaplex and Splashdown Park.
Construction began over the winter for the new aquatics center, but city leaders said the ceremony was postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The location is within walking distance of the Hampton Coliseum and Hampton Convention Center.
According to city officials, it is slated to open in summer 2022, and it will be a 62,739 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility. It will feature an eight-lane, 50 m. competition pool, spectator seating for 1,500 with a mezzanine, on-deck athlete seating for 760 and an outdoor splash park.
Mayor Donnie Tuck spoke at the ceremony. He added that it will also have aqua fitness classes and learn-to-swim classes that will be open to the public. When talking with News 3, Mayor Tuck said he knows firsthand the importance of learning this life-saving skill.
“I really didn’t learn how to swim until I was in college,” stated Mayor Tuck. “We know in this area there are a number of drownings because individuals can’t swim, and more African Americans, they don’t swim. They don’t take lessons. They’re not exposed to it.” He added, “What we want to do is try and make sure that everybody in our city has the opportunity to learn how to swim.”
Along with national and regional events, the Aquaplex will also accommodate local school swim teams and citizens with the competition pool and 25 yd. program pool. The Aqauplex will also include an outdoor splash park with a leisure pool, lazy river pool and slides.
The Hampton Virginia Aquaplex facility features:
- Eight-lane, 50 m. competition pool with two moveable bulkheads
- State-of-the-art timing and scoring by Colorado Time Systems
- Eight-lane, 25 yd. programming pool
- 1,500-seat elevated spectator viewing area
- 760 on-deck competitor seating
- Pool-side whirlpool jacuzzi
- 2 one-meter springboards and 2 three-meter springboards
- 2,030 sq. ft. multipurpose room
- 1,270 sq. ft. team room
- Culinary center concession food service
Mayor Tuck announced that the 2023 USA Artistic Swimming Junior Olympic Championship will be held at the Aquaplex. The championship is one of the largest artistic swimming events in the world, with more than 1,100 athletes ages 12-19. The competition will last over an eight-day event schedule, starting at the end of June 2023.