Azionaqua plans commemorative event to fund repairs, possible expansion • Current post
Azionaqua Swim Club, a recreational swimming facility in Zionsville, will celebrate its 61st birthday in August with a fundraising event for improvements and a proposed community center for year-round activities, said Eileen Davis, chairman of the board of directors. administration of the club.
Discussions about establishing a recreational swimming center in Zionsville began in 1956, according to Azionaqua officials. On August 6, 1960, the facility’s Olympic-sized swimming pool opened at 4875 Willow Rd. Its grand opening took place on August 21, 1960.
“We tried to celebrate our 60th anniversary last year, but because of COVID we had to postpone it until this year,” Davis said. “Now we call it the 60th + 1 anniversary celebration.”
Azionaqua will celebrate its 60th + 1 anniversary with a fundraising event scheduled from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on August 21 at the Golf Club of Indiana, 6905 S. 525 E., Whitestown. Tickets cost $ 75 and include two drink coupons. VIP tickets cost $ 125 and include a guest pass, unlimited drinks, and a raffle ticket for a silent auction. The event also includes a dinner. Additional details will be posted on azionaqua.com, Davis said.
“The event is important, first of all, to bring attention to the fact that we have been a fixture in the Zionsville community for over 60 years,” said Ginger DeCoursey, director of aquatic activities at the facility. . “And when this pool was built, it was the country. People went to the countryside to go to the swimming pool. It’s our land, but it was farmland at the time. Now it sits in what most people would consider the middle of town. Being able to celebrate a piece of history is important, but I also think it’s important to stay relevant. We need to have updates, and our regular operating budget cannot maintain the updates that we think we need to improve. “
DeCoursey said the facility, which is open between Memorial Day and Labor Day, welcomes between 400 and 700 visitors a day, not including swim teams who use the 50-meter pool or people who register. swimming lessons.
“We can’t wait because we have improvements that need to be made,” Davis said. “So we’re going to continue our fundraising campaign, and I thought it would be fun to do some history. A lot of people in Zionsville grew up here going to the pool. We’re going to have a meeting for these people.
Davis said Azionaqua, in addition to its August 21 event, plans to host a reunion later this year, although a date has not been determined.
Proceeds from the 60th + 1 event will pay for pool repairs and help fund future expansion, which could include a community center, Davis said.
Azionaqua, a non-profit organization, operates primarily on revenue generated from membership fees and guest passes, but additional funds would help the facility expand and utilize the 12-acre property. . Davis said Azionaqua officials plan to have the future community center run year-round swimming / fitness classes, including martial arts, Pilates and yoga, to stabilize operating budget income and provide a large interior space functional to residents of Zionsville. They also hope to build an indoor pool in the community center.
Azionaqua board chair Eileen Davis said the facility is actively considering creating a community center – a center that would allow it to offer classes and activities throughout the year. . She said the town of Zionsville recently approached Azionaqua officials with an idea of partnering on the project.
“We spoke with the town of Zionsville to maybe join forces with them at a community center,” Davis said. “We are only at the very beginning of their discussion.”
The City of Zionsville and Azionaqua Swim Club have entered into an agreement in which the city and Azionaqua are actively exploring additional recreational opportunities for city residents, according to a November 2020 press release.
“The Town of Zionsville and Azionaqua have agreed to assess the possibility of working together to expand Azionaqua’s existing programming and entertainment services into a broader offering for residents of Zionsville,” the statement said. “Both parties are working together, leveraging our common resources, to achieve the common goal of providing greater opportunities for the residents of Zionsville. “
The agreement is the first step in the assessment of recreational opportunities. As part of the planning process, the city would host public consultation sessions, including stakeholder meetings and focus groups.
Amanda Vela, the city’s public information officer, said there had been no update on Zionsville’s plans for the community center since November 2020.
“For over 60 years, Azionaqua has provided Zionsville residents and club members with family-friendly recreational swimming opportunities,” said Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron. “As we look to the future, Azionaqua and the Town of Zionsville come together for the common goal of expanding fitness opportunities for residents of all ages. When I talk to residents, the most consistent request is: When will Zionsville open a community center? Together with the Zionsville Parks and Recreation Department, I am excited to work with Azionaqua to plan our future so that residents can find the recreational opportunities they want here in town.
Davis said if the city was unable to help Azionaqua establish a community center, the facility would pursue one at a later date.
“It’s our eventual dream,” Davis said. “If the city doesn’t get involved, we still have to do something. We still have to build a safety net for emergency repairs as well as fix the pool house because we cannot compete with other pools if we have a dilapidated facility.
Davis said the long-term vision for the facility, which includes an indoor pool, classrooms, observation deck, additional parking and other amenities, could cost as much as $ 30 million and require several phases. She said a third party or sponsor could also be required to pay for the additions.
But not all Azionaqua members support the creation of a community center. Zionsville resident and Azionaqua member Hillary Bustamante said she wanted to keep the small town feel of the pool.
“I know a lot of members who don’t want the atmosphere of this pool to change,” Bustamante said. “We know this will change the atmosphere of the pool – the feel of a small town, its simplicity, its beauty.”
Bustamante, who lives less than half a mile from the pool, said she would prefer a community center to be built at another location in Zionsville.