EDIT: Since initially hearing this news, supporters of the cause have started a GoFundMe that you can visit to contribute to. Below is a summary of the fundraiser reasoning. You can visit their GoFundMe Here
In an effort to comply with the President Henningsen’s ultimatum that we raise 1.5 Million dollars to completely rebuild the Aquatic Facility located on their campus we need your help. If we are unable to raise this amount we will be forced to secure a new home and all funds will go towards our efforts to relocate Ocala Aquatics and the programs that they support.
We need the Florida swimming community to come together and support one of our fellow teams. The Newton A. Perry Aquatic Center has been told by the College of Central Florida that they are not going to renew the pool lease after September of this year. The Newton A. Perry Aquatic Center is home to the Ocala Marlins Swim Club, the only swim club in the Ocala area, along with Swim America, Special Olympics programs, American Red Cross lifeguard training, Ocala Scuba DiveTrainingg, Firefighter/EMT training, Area High Schools swimming and much more. This is a community that has no other aquatic facility in the area so closing their only pool would send shockwaves through the community. The Ocala Aquatics Board of Directors issued the following statement.”
Unfortunately, the College has decided that unless Ocala Aquatics pays for a complete refurbishment of the pool, at a cost of approximately 1.3 million dollars they will close the pool for good. Ocala Aquatics is willing and able to help fund the repair of any reasonable and immediate concerns that the College has with the condition of the pool, but obviously cannot pay for a complete refurbishment nor is one necessary. We are currently trying to convince the College to reconsider their decision, as the College pool is the only facility in this area that can accommodate all of the aquatics programs listed above. However, we need your help.
We do not believe that the College has an adequate understanding of the importance and impact this pool and our aquatic programs have on our community. Since its construction, this pool has been a true community asset, and was even constructed with the help of donations directly from our community. If we cannot convince the College that closing the pool is a terrible mistake, many of the programs that we run and coordinate will no longer be available in the Marion County area.”
We need the entire swimming community to contact the College President, Vice President and it’s Trustees to let them know that the College pool is too important to the community to close. You can reach these people at the following numbers and emails.
- James Henningsen: College President
- 352-854-322 Ext. 1312
- Joe Mazur: Vice President
- 352-854-2322 Ext 1777
- The Trustees
- Ron Ewers
- Rusty Branson
- William Edgar
- Sandra Balfour
- Joyce Brancato
- Robert Durrance
- Don Taylor
The College needs to be persuaded to work with the team so that they can continue to serve the community through these vital programs. If they are not successful in their efforts, the College will close the pool on September 30,2017.
It is unfortunate that our sport is faced with this dilemma so often, but this is once again another opportunity for the swimming community to rise up and show just how important this sport and the community around it really is. Voice your opinion to the above names and we will keep you posted on anything else you can do going forward.
Written by Ryan Rosenbaum