MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach Riptides is a local swim team that has been having to commute to and from the north and south strands for years just to get a chance to swim. The team practices at two locations: the Canal Street Recreation Center and Pepper Geddings. Their swim meets are held in North Myrtle Beach at the Aquatic Center.
According to the team's head coach and Riptides CEO James Smith, they've been paying the city of Myrtle Beach $30,000 a year for rental fees.
So the last few months, the team, parents and supporters have been fundraising to get their own pool built. At last check, $10,000 has been raised, but the overall goal for the project is $3 million.
The future aquatic center will sit on five acres of land at River Oaks Road near the Highway 31 overpass in Carolina Forest. Coach Smith said this location is centrally-located and limits the prior driving time for parents.
Two Conway businesses, Venture Engineering and Fureveryoung, are also partnering with the swim team on the aquatic center. The center will be a 25,000 square foot facility with two pools, office space, and fitness and weight rooms. Future phases into the project will include an outdoor Olympic swimming pool and tennis courts.
The facility will offer memberships to the community and the two indoor pools will include a warm water instruction pool to help children and adults learn to swim. There also be a capabilities to offer therapeutic swimming for those in need.
"We are getting a lot of buzz within the community, " said Smith, who wants to urge people to get interested into this future community facility.
Ways to donate to the project can be found online at www.teamriptides.com