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Recently the Rochester City Council approved an additional $1.7 million to cover construction costs at the Recreation Center site. This 22 million dollar project included renovation and remodeling of the Rec Center’s aquatics facilities and swimming pool. The Rochester swimming and diving community is grateful to the City for its recognition of the construction/renovation issues necessitating the additional funding. While significant financial contributions to this project have been well publicized, few are aware that more than $700,000 needs to be raised by the local swimming and diving community to complete this project.

Rochester Swimming Inc. was recently founded as a non-profit 501c3 group to specifically address the funding gap. This group brings together representatives from Rochester Parks & Recreation, Rochester Swim Club Orcas, Med-City Aquatics, Minnesota Swimming and members of the local high school swimming and diving teams. These are not the only groups who benefit from and use the Rec Center facilities, but they represent the major users. The goal of Rochester Swimming Inc. is to promote and support water safety, swim instruction, competitive swimming and diving.

After 40 years, the Rec Center pool is undergoing its first major overhaul, which includes a new filtration system and plumbing. Depth is increased to comply with current codes. The concrete pool deck has been repaired. It is the only pool in southern Minnesota with both one and three-meter diving boards. Other than the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, which is half as old, the Rec Center pool is considered the best facility in the State of Minnesota.

Renovation of the Rec Center will enhance its reputation as one of the premier aquatic facilities in the region. This, in turn, will allow Rochester to host additional events which provides a significant positive economic impact for the city. In 2014, this economic impact totaled nearly one million dollars, bringing 6,000 athletes to Rochester, filling more than 1,600 hotel rooms.

In 2016, Minnesota Swimming will hold both its Age Group and Senior State Meets at the Rec Center, which will bring more than 3,000 athletes and their families to town. In 2017, USA Swimming will hold its national Midwest Zone competition at the Rec Center. The economic impact on Rochester for this single swimming meet is estimated to be $500,000.00.

All of this good news is contingent upon completion and payment for the Rec Center pool renovations. The unfunded renovations include a variety of amenities and equipment necessary to host swimming and diving events. The list of items needed to complete the renovations is not a wish list. These things are required to host, promote, and support swimming and diving events. Items that have been left for the local swimming and diving community to fund include: Pool bulkheads $450,000; Starting Blocks $60,000; three-meter diving platform $65,000; Spectator Seating $80,000; Scoreboard $80,000; Lane Lines and timing equipment $50,000.

Rochester Swimming Inc. and the local aquatic community will be working hard to reduce the financial gap that has been left to us. We hope to receive support from individuals and Rochester businesses. This project will benefit local sports teams, attract visitors to Rochester and promote health and wellness in our community for many years to come.

Rochester Swimming Inc.


Bill Shaughnessy, Autumn Kappes

Please help Rochester Swimming Inc. by making a a tax deductible donation through our donation program!