City commissioners have scrapped plans to reconstruct the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.
According to a report in sister publication Aquatics International, the deal to rebuild the fifty year-old facility, which houses competition pools in addition to the International Swimming Hall of Fame, fell through. The reason? Skyrocketing construction costs. The city, as well as South Florida-based design firm Recreational Design and Construction, have placed a $41 million price tag on the project. The original estimate in 2012 was $32.4 million.
“That price tag kept growing and when we started looking at it, it just didn’t make economic sense for the city or even the users of the facility,” said Jack Seiler, mayor of Fort Lauderdale. “We want to make sure that the facility is not only accessible and available, but affordable.”
The city is now planning to renovate the facility, rather than endure a full-scale demolition and rebuild, and spend about half of the quoted rebuild price, said Seiler.
The International Swimming Hall of Fame, however, will not be sticking around to bask in the finished project. After contentious dealings between ISHOF and the city over the Aquatic Complex, which date back to at least 2001, the Hall of Fame is relocating to Santa Clara, Calif. in 2018.