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New swim center plan proposed

By Staff | Mar 12, 2011

Former Lee County Commissioner John Albion said Friday that the National Swimming Center Corporation has been working quietly over the last few months to reconfigure their plans of turning City of Palms Park into an Olympic caliber aquatic facility.
Current county commissioners will be the first to get a taste of those plans next Tuesday, Albion said, adding that he believes the plans will ensure that both public and private entities will win in the end.
“We’re going to base the presentation on the ability of the project, and not a political circus,” Albion said.
The National Swimming Center Corporation has wanted to construct a facility in Lee County for more than a year.
They were rejected by Cape Coral city council last April following a 12-hour meeting that saw hundreds of supporters and detractors pack council chambers.
The NSCC wanted to construct an expansive, multi-million dollar facility in Cape Coral that boasted not only an Olympic caliber indoor swimming pool, but also an a convention center and hotel.
Projected to cost $84.9 million, the project never got past a $50,000 study conducted by the city about the project’s viability.
NSCC officials found opposition again in September of last year when county commissioners decided to reject the project due to funding issues.
Having adjusted their plans and ambitions for the project, the NSCC envisions the City of Palms Park being transformed into an Olympic swimming destination, at a cost of roughly $36 million
Albion said there will be some different financial approaches for commissioners to consider this time around, but declined to identify funding sources until commissioners hear the proposals.
Albion said the NSCC will be able to present “truth in numbers,” showing the project is viable in Lee County, and that the deal would be very worthy of commissioners’ consideration.
“They’ve done a lot more work,” Albion said of the NSCC. “They looked at this piece of property and done work to show what the numbers they believe can be achieved and how they can be achieved.”
Lee County Commissioners are expected to hear the proposals, individually, on Tuesday.