Vicki and Jim McCoy Aquatics Center breaks ground at Bill Bartley YMCA

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — In a highly anticipated event marked by community pride, residents, stakeholders, community leaders and donors gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony of Bill Bartley YMCA's new Vicki and Jim McCoy Aquatics Center.

The ceremony, held at the future site of the facility on Tuesday, April 9, symbolized the beginning of a new chapter for the community.

The aquatics center, slated to be completed by fall of 2025, promises to be a state-of-the-art facility, catering to the needs of residents of all ages.

"It'll be a 10-lane, 25-yard by 25-meter competition pool, so we'll be able to host state meets, regional meets, and we'll be able to provide swimming for hundreds and hundreds of individuals," AJ Hernandez, President and CEO for the YMCA of Wichita Falls, said. "At the same time, our recreation pool will not only have a zero-entry area with a splash pad and a slide for youth, [but] it'll also be heated at a certain measure."

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Despite all of the exciting amenities, water safety is one of the biggest long-term goals.

"To be able to be trained in water safety to reduce the number of drownings and that sort of thing... Texas leads the nation in youth drownings, so that's something that we really want to impact in a positive way and reduce those numbers within our community," said Board of Directors member Shane Fitzhenry.

As construction progresses, residents eagerly await the day they can dive into the 297,326 gallons of life-changing water. The aquatics center is poised to make waves as a premier destination for aquatic recreation and community enrichment, officials said.

For more information about the Vicki and Jim McCoy Aquatics Center and the groundbreaking ceremony, contact Jon Dearolf at (940) 245-0155.

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