Poolside conversations and a longing for a 50-meter pool in the Greater Capital Region sparked the concept for the Adirondack Aquatic Center in the winter of 2013. TSE Consulting, an international consulting firm specializing in sports, was engaged to conduct a feasibility study. TSE Director Dale Neuberger, who is also the Vice President of FINA (the international governing body of aquatic sports) and former president of USA Swimming, came to the area and met with stakeholders. The study provided valuable information and concluded that the Greater Capital Region is under-served in terms of year-round, accessible, indoor water. The study also found that not only is there community demand for an aquatic only center, it can also be cost-effective as well as a source of economic development. It recommended a multi-pool approach, with water of varying depths and temperatures.
Adirondack Aquatic Center leaders attended USA Swimming’s Build-A-Pool Conference later that year where they honed the vision of AAC and developed the four pillars for the Center: Learn-to-Swim, Aquatic Exercise, Aquatic Therapy, and Competition. They then worked with business mentors through the Small Business Administration’s SCORE program to develop a sustainable business model.
The Town of Malta was identified as a location geographically near the center of the Adirondack District Local Swim Committee (LSC) which stretches from Watertown and Plattsburgh in the north to New Paltz in the south, and from Clinton and Duanesburg in the west to Bennington, Vermont in the east. The Board of Directors presented the vision for the Adirondack Aquatic Center to the Malta Town Board in March of 2014 and received unanimous approval to apply for spot zoning on a parcel of land near Exit 12 off the Adirondack Northway, I-87.
With a network of volunteer advisors and professionals, the Adirondack Aquatic Center began to take shape. An aquatic engineer and architect, Water Technology, Inc. and LaBella Associates, D.P.C., developed a schematic showing the relationship between the pools and dry space use, capturing the AAC vision on paper. A parcel was identified on Route 67 in Malta and a local land surveyor worked to make sure the property is suitable for the AAC. In May 2015 the land was secured with a deposit and contract and the Planned Development District (PDD) rezoning process began.
The Adirondack Aquatic Center is raising funds through a combination of tax-deductible donations, grants, and loans.