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story.lead_photo.caption Photo by Hunt Mercier / Texarkana Gazette.

 

The Texas High School Tigersharks have a renovated Aquatic Center on the Texarkana College campus that will be open for some public use beginning Tuesday.

The Texarkana Independent School District Aquatic Center will be open to the general public for community fitness/swim from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school calendar year and during summer.

It will be closed during all school holidays.

Membership applications are available at the center. Costs will be $50 per month for 64 years of age and younger and $40 per month for 65 years of age and older. Swimming lessons are also offered for $65 per eight lessons.

When Texarkana College made the decision to close its aquatic center because of facility conditions and renovation costs, TISD dove in to take over and make over the center for the primary use of their district-wide swim program.

The $2 million renovation of the former TC pool inside the Pinkerton Center happened over a six-month time frame with Texarkana Independent School District's maintenance department doing a lot of the work.

" Our TISD Maintenance Department was able to accomplish so much more than we expected was possible," said TISD Superintendent Paul Norton. "It took a full team of staff working six days a week at ten plus hours a day to execute the level of renovations that were done. I cannot thank those team members enough for the exceptional job they did for our district. I am so proud of their talents and professionalism in accomplishing not only this renovation but so much more that is done within our school district on a daily basis."

Last October, the TISD Board of Trustees approved the issuance of Time Warrants, Series 2018 in the approximate amount of $92,000 per year and adopted a resolution authorizing the issuance of a Maintenance Tax Note, Series 2018A of approximately $78,000 per year.

The newly renovated Aquatic Center opened to Tigersharks swim team last month.

Last summer, the swim team members used the CHRISTUS St. Michael Fitness Center pool for practice.

TISD's newly renovated aquatic center fosters the future of the Tigersharks and was a win-win for the community.

"The swimming pool was a must have to continue with our state-award-winning Tigersharks swim program," said Norton.

The Texas High Tigersharks swim program is one of the premier swim programs at the district, regional and state levels.

"Our boys and girls teams have never lost a district title during the past 30 years," said Coach Eric Vogan. "The boys team has won 24 straight regional titles with the girls team winning 14 straight regional titles. We have won one state title and finished in the top three at state about 14 times. Currently our boys team is ranked No. 8 in state. Our swimmers have earned numerous individual state titles and we continually produce student athletes who earn academic All-American status."

Last year, Texarkana College trustees offered TISD the opportunity to lease the facility in return for our absorbing the renovation costs.

The approval of a 30-year lease agreement with Texarkana College began Jan. 1 and will end on December 31, 2048.

The lease, in the amount of $10 along with other good and valuable considerations per year, placed the interior building maintenance and renovation costs with TISD.

Renovations include: new entry way, replacement of all ceiling grids and lighting throughout the entire facility, new HVAC and insulation, new roof, all new gas, electrical and plumbing lines to bring the facility up to code, new locker rooms and lockers, coaches offices remodeled, new weight room, audio system and scoreboard, re-plastered pool, surfaced pool deck and textured pool floors, new platforms for diving boards and complete paint of facility.

With the pool now being open strictly for TISD's usage, swim times for students has become more flexible and available to students in grades 6-12.

A new Swim Sports class is now offered for grades 6-7.

This recreational swim class provides a low-impact workout. Through different units, students learn how to play a variety of water sports such as underwater hockey, water polo and water basketball, as well as, the fundamentals of diving, snorkeling, and underwater fin swimming.

Once TISD established their swim course schedule for the school year, they moved to determining public swim times and costs.

For more information on the community fitness/swim program, contact: Coach Eric Vogan at 903.794.3891 ext. 57701 or eric.vogan@txkisd.net.

 

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