RICHMOND, Va. -- The YMCA of Greater Richmond, in partnership with Henrico County, broke ground on a new $10 million aquatics center Tuesday.
The 21,000 square feet center will be on 6 acres of county-owned land next to the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center off of Laburnum Ave. It will feature an eight-lane 25-yard pool, an instructional pool, a family spray area, and a waterslide.
CEO of The Greater Richmond YMCA, Tim Joyce, said the center will not only a place for children to swim but a place for them to grow.
"When a child learns how to do something, their confidence goes up, and when their confidence goes up so does their self-esteem," said Joyce. "And with self-esteem comes resiliency. Resiliency is a life skill. It’s a workforce development skill. So you might think we’re just teaching a child how to swim -- we’re actually building resiliency that they can transfer to many different aspects of their life."
Joyce also said one of the main goals for the center is to prevent drowning.
"We know that the second leading cause of death in children under 14 is drowning, and one is one too many," Joyce said. "We can do something about that. We have been for many many years and this just gives us a new asset -- this new pool and the YMCA footprint and the community footprint to get after that."
Once open, Joyce said the center will offer swim lessons, family swim nights, and health and wellness activities.
It is expected to be completed in early 2020.