April 2nd, 2018
After years of fundraising to give low-income families a place to learn how to swim, the renovated Phillips Aquatic Center will soon be open to the community.
The center, at 2323 11th Av. S., will be the Minneapolis Park Board's only indoor public pool in the city. The $7 million construction project includes a refurbished six-lane pool for competitive swimming, a new four-lane teaching pool and refurbished family locker rooms. The center also will offer gender-specific swimming lessons.
The board has said the center is the first step in reducing drowning deaths for low-income residents who often lack swimming options.
"It's about water safety," said former Park Board Member Scott Vreeland, whose district included the Phillips neighborhood, at the groundbreaking last year. "It's about teaching kids and adults how to swim."
According to federal statistics, children of color are at the highest risk of drowning.
Money for the project came from various sources, including state bonds and Minneapolis Public Schools, which each contributed $1.75 million. Minneapolis Swims secured $270,000 through the Minneapolis Foundation — given by an anonymous donor - to cover the cost of the fitness center, yoga room and renovation of the existing locker rooms.
The board will celebrate the center with a grand opening ceremony on April 21, capping off a week of open houses for the community to take a peek at the pools, sign up for classes and learn more about other programs offered at the center.