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Campaign for New Aquatic Complex On Central Coast Nearing Finish Line

(Image courtesy Santa Ynez Valley Aquatics Foundation)
Artist's rendering of new $11 million dollar aquatics complex planned for Santa Ynez Valley

It was a brand new pool on the Central Coast...more than a half century ago.

Now, the main outdoor pool in the Santa Ynez Valley, at Santa Ynez High School, is 53 years old, and literally coming apart.

A campaign to replace it with an aquatics complex has now passed the seven million dollar mark towards its 11 million dollar goal.

Gary Hall Junior knows a little about pools.

The Solvang man is a swimmer who competed in three Olympics, in 1996, 200, and 2004. Hall won ten medals, including five gold medals. Now, he’s co-chair of an ambitious campaign to replace the aging pools with a two pool, plus sports science complex. He co-chairs the campaign with Kami Craig, also a three time Olympian who won two gold, and one several medal in water polo.

Hall says the two acre complex will include a state of the art sports science and medicine building.

More than seven million dollars has been raised, or pledged towards the projected 11 million dollar plus project under the banner of the non-profit Santa Ynez Valley Aquatics Foundation.  Hall says while the pools will be used for traditional competition like swimming and water polo teams, they will be a true community resource, and a magnet for healthy living.  Depending on the timing of raising the final four million dollars for the project, the complex could potentially open in 2019.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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