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Shovels instead of splashes mark start of Edmond pool construction

Groundbreaking was held Tuesday in J.L. Mitch Park for Edmond's $22.47 million competitive swimming pool and recreation center. Edmond swimmers hope to be using the new pool by September 2013.
by Diana Baldwin Published: May 2, 2012

— Four Edmond high school swimmers grabbed shovels — and their coach Steve Riggs — on Tuesday to pose for photos of themselves digging into the ground where a competitive swimming pool will be built in J.L. Mitch Park.

Memorial High School seniors Katie Hettinger, Olivia Stookey and Carlie Pearson and junior Alyx Siemer were excited about groundbreaking ceremonies for Edmond's new $22.47 million recreation and aquatic center.

And they were a bit sad, because construction won't be completed in time for them to compete in the new 50-meter swimming pool with seating for up to 800 spectators.

They laughed and promised to return to swim in the pool, expected to be ready for Riggs to use in September 2013.

“We have the architect drawings on the website, and everyone is thrilled,” Riggs said. “The cost of a facility like this is almost prohibitive.”

The cost will be split by three partners — the city, Edmond Public Schools and the YMCA.

The school district is putting in $10 million. The YMCA is contributing $6 million, and the city is spending $6.47 million.

“This is a groundbreaking in more than one way,” Jay Buxton said about the three-way partnership. Buxton, an Edmond attorney, was a six-year member on the Capital Projects and Financing Task Force, the board that oversees the 2000 sales tax money being used to pay the city's part.

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by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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