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Diving in: Hulbert Aquatic Center opens

Six diving boards including two three-meter boards are seen Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in the newly opened Hulbert Pool in West Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor1 / 7
The entrance to the newly opened Hulbert Pool is seen Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in the in West Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor2 / 7
Starting blocks used in the Olympic trials are seen Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in the newly opened Hulbert Pool in West Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor3 / 7
Two bulkeads that can be moved the length of the pool are seen Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in the newly opened Hulbert Pool in West Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor4 / 7
Floating recreational equipment is seen Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in the newly opened Hulbert Pool in West Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor5 / 7
A 11x200-foot video board is seen Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in the newly opened Hulbert Pool in West Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor6 / 7
A composite panorama of five images shows seating for 1,100 spectators Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in the newly opened Hulbert Pool in West Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor7 / 7

Now that construction of the West Fargo School District's Hulbert Aquatic Center is finished, a second phase of construction will begin that will bring a warm-water pool for school and community use to West Fargo.

The Hulbert Aquatic Center, the $20.2 million pool facility added on to L.E. Berger Elementary, 620 7th Ave. E. in West Fargo, was built by the school district as part of the $98.1 million bond passed by voters in 2015.

Now that the center is finished, phase two of the project began Monday, Nov. 27. Crews will reconstruct the former school district pool inside L.E. Berger Elementary School to hold a six- lane, warm-water pool that will be 3½ to 4½ feet deep with water kept at 86 degrees. The pool will be used for aerobics classes, senior activities and other community swimming.

The former pool at L.E. Berger was more than 40 years old and the sole pool in the West Fargo School District.

Aquatics Director Chad Day said West Fargo Schools as well as UP Aquatics, which is a local nonprofit group that has raised and donated $3.040 million for upgrades to the center, has left no details undone. While most consider the pool a non-academic facility, Day said learning to swim is an important lesson.

"In my opinion, swimming should be the genesis of everything we do," Day said. "It's one of those life skills—everyone should know how to swim."

While construction on the smaller pool began this week, construction on the Hulbert Aquatic Center is wrapping up just in time for preparations to host a public open house from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30.

Hulbert Aquatics Center will host its first swim meet on Friday, Dec. 1, when Minnesota State University Moorhead hosts the Dragons-Cobber invitational meet with Concordia College.

On Sunday, UP Aquatics will host its first event at the new facility with a public swim clinic that will be taught by Olympians Dana Vollmer and Jason Lezak.

Inside the Hulbert Aquatic Center

Hulbert Aquatic Center is the permanent home to the 2016 Olympic trials pool that UP Aquatics bought for nearly $1 million and moved to North Dakota after it was used in Omaha, Neb., for the trial events. The pool is 54 meters long by 25 yard wide and holds nearly 1 million gallons of water.

Along with the pool, the starting boards used in the trials also made the move to West Fargo, which includes the No. 4 board used by Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps.

The pool has two 1-meter diving boards as well as two 3-meter boards set on permanent bases. The facility was built with one locker room for Sheyenne High School, one for West Fargo High School and a third team locker room to be used by a potential third high school should one be built.

Along with buying the pool, UP Aquatics' donations helped install a state of the art timing system, 11-foot by 20-foot video screen and upgraded seating options. There is seating for 1,100 spectators and along the pool, room for 600 athletes.

Day said the facility used money in its programming budget to pay for inflatable amenities such as the aquaglide obstacle course, log rolls, floating volleyball area and slide that can be used for birthday parties and other public events.

The school district hired Day in 2016. He was formerly an assistant director of campus recreation, aquatics and risk management at Auburn University in Alabama, and came to West Fargo with more than 18 years of experience in aquatic safety, risk management and aquatics programming. Lisa Vetter, operations and logistics supervisor, was hired alongside Day to help with event planning and scheduling.

The Hulbert Aquatic Center will host the 2018 boys swimming and diving Eastern Dakota Conference as well as the 2018 state meet.

It won the bid to host the 2019 U.S. Central Zone Championships, a USA Swimming tournament.

Pool users and attendees are asked to use the main entrance on the south side of the L.E. Berger Elementary School and the facility.

(Sidebar)

UP Aquatics brings swim clinic with gold medal Olympians

Olympic champions, Dana Vollmer and Jason Lezak will be a part of a three-hour swim clinic to be held Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Hulbert Aquatics Center.

The Gate City Bank Breakout! Swim Clinic is sponsored locally by Gate City Bank that is held in more than 100 cities per year and to inspire and motivate a new generation of swimmers.

The event is a three-hour in-water stroke technique clinic from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for 8 to

11-year- olds and a second clinic from Noon to 3:30 p.m. for 12 to 18-year- olds.

The cost of the clinic is $25.

The swimmers will hear messages from Dana

Vollmer and Jason Lezak and will receive a t-shirt and a goody bag. Immediately

following, they will hit the water with the two Olympians for in-water demonstration and

instruction on swim strokes and techniques. Participants may have a chance to test their

strokes in a race against the Olympic champions and establish some pool records to

inaugurate the new pool. The two World Record Holders will be

available for autographs and photos at the end of the clinic.

Registration for the Gate City Bank Breakout! Swim Clinic is currently open. To

register, go to www.breakoutswimclinic.com under "find a clinic" or contact Josh

Davis at (210)889-7667 or at josh@joshdavis.com.

Major sponsors for this Swim Clinic are Gate City Bank and North Dakota

Swimming. Other sponsors include: Colorado Time Systems, Myrtha Pools, Zerr Berg

Architects, MBN Engineering, ONE Engineering, Moore Engineering, Bergstom Eye &

Laser Clinic.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

(701) 241-5530
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