by Yustin Riopko
CHARLOTTE – The Mecklenburg Swim Association is increasing its reach into Union County with plans for a brand new 50-meter Olympic-style pool in Indian Trail.
The $2.5 million to $3 million project should begin this fall and open for use in May 2019.
MSA head coach Peter Perers said the pool won’t be for people to just come and play, but will still serve the area in other ways.
“We’re picturing more like an activities pool,” Perers said. “It will be for swimming as a sport, learning, lessons and maybe even lifeguard training.”
The organization already has five pools in the Charlotte area between Huntersville and Marvin.
Located on Chestnut Parkway near Carolina Courts, the new complex will serve swimmers on the southern side of Charlotte. But Perers predicts the pool’s unique size might pull down people from the north, too.
“It’s 50 meters, which is what year round competitive swimming is done in – compared to if you go to these neighborhoods with 25-meter pools,” Perers said. “You can compare it to soccer fields. You might practice on a half field, but if you had a full-size field, you had to drive a little farther for, you’d still do it.”
Perers acknowledged the Mint Hill, Stallings and Indian Trail areas have been underserved.
“In the back of my mind, I’ve always thought moving in that direction would be worth trying,” Perers said. “I’m hoping it’s an area that will be excited about this, because I know it’s a growing area with families and kids.”
The Mecklenburg Swim Association formed in 2012 and has found great success in such little time.
MSA Masters Coach Patty Waldron said Perers started the program from scratch and was recruiting swimmers before he even had a staff.
“Back then, if you could blow a bubble, you could be on our team,” Waldron said. “And now if you walk into [the] Tom Short [swim center], you’ll see six names on the junior national qualifiers and one in the senior, so there’s some good things happening.”
Visit www.msaswim.com for more information.