By Matt Wiley
Fans of the iconic, Olympic-sized (50-meter) pool at the New Tampa Family YMCA (located on Compton Dr. in Tampa Palms) are getting ready for a dry month, as the New Tampa Y pool is set to close for some much-needed renovations.
According to a press release from the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, the New Tampa location will close its more- than-500,000-gallon, 17-lane, heated pool on Monday, January 13, which is scheduled to reopen on Monday, February 3.
“Our goal at the New Tampa Family YMCA has always been to create the best environment for our swim team program,” says director of competitive swimming Stu Wilson. “We are excited to modernize and expand our pool facility to better serve our swimmers. We appreciate the community’s patience during the temporary closure.”
Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA communications director Lalita Llerena explains that the plan to renovate the pool has been in the works for months.
“There are some issues that needed to get fixed,” Llerena says. “There were a few leaks in the pool and some cracks in the pool deck. There also was some slanting in the deck, which was causing issues for the water aerobics teams.”
The renovations are estimated to cost approximately $60,000 and will be paid for with funds already available in the New Tampa Y’s budget. Sarasota-based Myrtha Pools will take on the project. Once completed, the pool will boast three additional swimming lanes, bringing the total up to 20 lanes, each about eight feet wide — without changing its 50 meters x 25 meters dimensions. The available area is just being reworked to include more swimming lanes.
“Of all the Tampa area YMCAs, New Tampa is known for its pool and competitive swimming program,” Llerena explains. “(The pool) is definitely a benefit to the community. We hope that these renovations will help the pool better serve our members, as well as bring in more.”
The pool and the New Tampa Y itself both opened in 2001. It is 7’-6” deep at its deepest point and a little more than three feet deep at its shallowest. The pool is open year-round and is kept at a temperature of around 80º F.
The last time the pool was empty was not for renovations or cleaning. In fact, a little more than two years ago, pranksters drained more than 400,000 gallons from the popular pool overnight into a nearby retention pond.
For members of the New Tampa Y’s competitive swimming programs — such as the Tampa YMCA Stingrays, don’t worry, in-water practices will be held at both the East Pasco Family YMCA on Chapel Hill Loop in Zephyrhills and at Bob Sierra Family YMCA’s Youth & Family Center on Northdale Blvd. in the Carrollwood area. The New Tampa synchronized swim team will have its practices at both the Plant City Family YMCA and also at the Bob Sierra YMCA’s Youth & Family Center.
For detailed schedules, please visit TampaYMCA.org.