GISD breaks ground on natatorium, wrapping up bond

A highly anticipated facility is on the horizon for Garland ISD. The district is pleased to announce that its state-of-the-art natatorium is officially under construction. A cornerstone of the 2014 Bond Program, breaking ground on the aquatic center marks the final phase of the taxpayer-approved plan. 

“We are really excited about our natatorium and are thankful we are able to make it a reality, thanks to our community,” said Executive Director of Facilities and Maintenance Joel Falcon. “This is truly going to be a world-class place.”

Construction on the project, bid at $30 million, began in February at the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road and Firewheel Parkway. In early June, Trustees, elected officials, administrators and community members celebrated this milestone at a groundbreaking ceremony.

“The natatorium will have 1,200 spectator seats and a Myrtha pool shell, which is the same pool construction used at all U.S., international and Olympic championship meets. It will also have a state-of-the-art air filtration system,” stated Director of Facilities Javier Fernandez.

The 54,000-square-foot building will also boast an extended and separately heated warm-up/teaching pool with a wheelchair lift, wide pool decks, large weight and locker rooms, enhanced storage capabilities, a ticket window and concession stand, and a diving area with one and three-meter boards.

In addition to its superior physical perks, GISD’s natatorium will also provide new learning and extracurricular opportunities. Students at all district high schools will be able to participate in varsity and junior varsity swimming and diving. The district also plans to teach second-graders and special needs students water safety. 

“The aquatic safety program will teach life-saving lessons to GISD students and reduce the chances of childhood drownings,” Fernandez said. “Besides the high school and safety programs, the natatorium will also be available to host district and regional swim meets.” 

“Some of the local natatoriums don’t have diving platforms like we will,” Falcon added. “That feature will help bring some collegiate meets to Garland ISD.”

Other potential future offerings include everything from masters swimming to club water polo to lifeguard certification.

Garland ISD’s long-awaited natatorium is slated to open in 2020.  Watch history in the making and keep up with the natatorium’s construction at garlandisdbond.com.