Last week, Northwest ISD opened its new 80,000-square-foot Aquatic Center next to Northwest High School.
The construction project was completed on time and under budget in 14 months, according to a news release from the district. The grand opening event featured remarks from swim team senior captains as well as an inaugural “first splash” where swimmers from all three of the district’s comprehensive high schools jumped simultaneously from the pool deck into the 50-meter competition pool.
“This new facility is a dream come true for me, fellow coaches, and swimmers and divers of all ages,” said Brad Eichenseer, first-year swim and dive head coach at V.R. Eaton High School. “Countless members of our community, both current and future, will greatly benefit.”
The complex was designed and constructed on NISD’s central campus — at Hwy 114 and FM 156, south of Justin — to provide the most convenient access for the district’s 234 square-mile boundaries. Prior to the opening of the Aquatic Center, NISD rented several other facilities, including Keller ISD’s Natatorium and a facility in Decatur for swimming and diving use, which limited practice time for students and required them to travel out of the district daily, according to the district.
“After 26 years of renting at other sites, we now have our own facility,” said Aquatic Center Director Steve Melbourn. “We are extremely fortunate and grateful for those relationships, but it was fabulous to look at our students’ faces and see the excitement in their eyes about their new home.”
With space to accommodate five high school swim teams, the Aquatic Center is built to support future district growth, according to NISD. The multi-use facility — funded by Northwest ISD taxpayers in the 2017 bond election — features a 50-meter stretch competition pool, a 4-lane, 25- yard practice pool, seating for 850 guests and a sports performance training center. The building is also home to a full-service sports medicine rehabilitation center and a health clinic which will be staffed by professionals from Texas Health Resources.
“Our collaboration with NISD directly allows us to fulfill both our mission and vision to provide a lifetime of health and well-being,” said Clint Abernathy, President of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance. “Our team’s children, husbands, wives and neighbors are all part of this world class district and will all benefit from this facility.”