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Council approves swim center study

By Staff | Aug 18, 2009

A proposal to build a multi-million dollar swimming complex took the next step toward becoming reality Monday as the Cape Coral City Council unanimously approved a feasibility study, cementing the city’s desire to see the project come to fruition.
The study will cost the city $25,000, and is intended to form more concrete plans for the project and provide a better understanding of the possible economic impact it could have on the Cape.
The idea to have the complex located in the Cape was first floated in April when officials from the National Swimming Center Corporation and USA Swimming began looking at possible locales for the project.
A 171-acre parcel northwest of Kismet Parkway and Del Prado Boulevard was found to be an ideal spot for the complex.
“(The study) is going to define the parameters, it’s going to define all the goals and how those goals will be met,” said Sal Panico, director of the National Swimming Center Corporation.
Some of the goals will be finding out the size, scope and character of commercial amenities like hotels that would accompany the swimming center.
Council members were quick to support the project and hope it will bring much-needed jobs and commercial activity to a city with rampant foreclosures and high unemployment.
“It does sound like you all have a very strong interest in this,” Mayor Jim Burch told Panico.
“At the cost of the feasibility study, certainly the gain will be monumental,” he said.
The study will likely take two to three months to complete, Panico said.
The makeup of the dais could change in that time period thanks to municipal elections set for Nov. 3, but current council members are firmly behind the project.
“We want to move forward with this. We are excited. Go forward with this, let’s get it done,” Councilmember Derrick Donnell said.