Photo by David Grace.
KINGSPORT - Let’s get wet, Model City!
The Kingsport Aquatic Center officially opened its doors Friday morning before an assembled crowd of elected officials, city staff, chamber of commerce representatives and YMCA staff.
One of the largest quality of life projects undertaken by the city, the Kingsport Aquatic Center has been a project years in the making, going through several iterations of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and with thousands of man-hours devoted to the brainstorming, planning, design and construction of the 81,000-square-foot facility located behind the Cattails driving range off Wilcox Drive.
Kingsport's portion includes a 46,000-square-foot indoor facility (natatorium) with a 50-meter competition/lap pool and three spring boards, a zero-entry 25-yard warm water pool, and a leisure pool with a curvy slide. The outdoor elements include two, curvy water slides, a lazy river, climbing structure and concession stand.
On Friday, Kingsport officially opened the indoor facility to the public and its members; the outdoor elements are scheduled to be open Memorial Day weekend.
Adjacent to the aquatic center is the new YMCA Wellmont Center — a two-story, 35,000-square-foot wellness center with fitness and exercise equipment, gymnasium, physical therapy office, a multi-level indoor playground and ChildWatch area (for pre-schoolers). The new Y also includes a multi-purpose room for meetings and classes, space for cardio, stretch and strength exercises, free weights area, cycling studio and space for group exercise, such as Zumba, pilates and yoga.
The YMCA held a soft opening for its new facility last week for existing members and has a number of events scheduled this weekend to coincide with the grand opening of the aquatic center. Free events include a family health fair and concert on Saturday and an open house all day Sunday.
For more on this story read tomorrow's print edition of the Times-News.