BY ANDREA PALMER
An aquatic center is being proposed in Malta
would have multiple swimming pools for training,
competing and fitness swimming.
“A group of us got together about three years ago
and said, ‘wouldn’t it be great to have a 50 meter pool
in the Capital District?’ The closest Olympic-sized
pool is about two hours away, and we all thought
there was a need in our market for it,” said Tara
Sullivan, one of three officers for what would be
called the Adirondack Aquatic Center.
The group hired a consulting company to conduct
a feasibility study.
“Our consultant is very highly regarded in the
competitive aquatics world. He was president of
USA Swimming, and he writes for FINA (the governing
body of Olympic swimming and aquatic
sports),” said Sullivan.
“We went to a build-a-pool conference, where we
learned how to build and program a pool facility.
What they recommended was a multi-pool concept.
You can’t satisfy everyone with just one pool,” she
said. “It’s going to be cold for adults who want to
work out in the water, or too hot for competitive
athletes who want to train. We came up with a plan
to have a warm water instruction pool, an aquatics
therapy pool, a diving well and a 50 meter pool
that can be divided into smaller spaces. It’s a very
“In the swimming world, deck space is always
important. We made sure in the plans we have room
for 400 athletes on deck. Spectator seating will be on
a second floor of a two-story building,” said Sullivan.
The group met with each of the town board
members in Malta to gauge interest in the project.
Malta was chosen because it is the center of the
Adirondack District Local Swimming Committees,
the local governing body of USA Swimming. The
district stretches from Plattsburgh and Watertown
down to New Paltz, and from Amsterdam in the
west to the eastern shores of Lake Champlain. Malta
is in the middle of this area and is easily accessible
by multiple roadways, making it a desirable location
for the project.
“The town board members liked our project, so
we moved ahead, found land and put in an offer that
was accepted. We are moving forward getting the
property zoned for an aquatic center,” said Sullivan.
The most recent development is approval from
the town of Malta planning board to continue with
“In the meantime while we are going through
this zoning process, we are raising funds for the land
and the build. We are looking to raise $22 million.
So far we have raised around $200,000 through
grassroots fundraising. We’ve applied for Capital
Region Economic Development Grant, and some
other ones,” said Sullivan.
Most of the group’s funds have come through
the private sector.
“By June, we hope to have the plan development
district approved through zoning, and then we will
need to close on the land. A lot depends on our
fundraising after that. It will probably take three to
five years before we raise enough money to build
it. We’re working with a strong group of people to
build connections and help with the fundraising,”
The property is located in Malta across the street
from Malta Urgent Care.
The website for the group is www.adirondackaquaticcenter.org.