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History of the Triangle Aquatics Center

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The Beginning
The first and only year-round public aquatic facility for Wake County's 750,000 citizens was built in 1992. Pullen Aquatic Center, owned and operated by the City of Raleigh along with a few outdoor pools that were bubbled during the winter months were not keeping up with Wake County's growing year-round aquatic needs. So on May 6, 2002, a Steering Committee of parents from the Raleigh Swimming Association met to explore ways to build a year-round aquatic facility.

After researching options and financial costs, it was determined that building a year-round aquatic facility specifically for RSA was not a viable option. It was further determined that all year-round swim teams, aquatic organizations and high schools through out Wake County were in need of additional year-round aquatic facilities. As a result, pursuing an aquatic facility specifically for use by RSA was abandoned and a broad Wake county public access mission evolved as follows.

TAC Mission
To build and operate public aquatic facilities
For the health, safety, recreation and competition needs
Of Triangle citizens and aquatic organizations


TAC Incorporates as a Nonprofit Organization
In pursuit of this mission, the Triangle Aquatic Center incorporated on June 27, 2002 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with an initial volunteer Board of six members. The first set of Bylaws were drafted and signed on September 11, 2002 with subsequent amendments on December 1, 2003 and May 8, 2006. TAC received its advanced ruling of its tax exempt status on November 4, 2002 and its final determination that TAC is a public charity and exempt from federal taxation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization on May 21, 2007.

Land Purchase
The next step was to purchase enough land to build the first flagship public aquatic facility that would allow for future expansion to meet Wake County's growing population. Tri-Properties President Greg Sanchez and Vice President Tim Capps donated their expertise and time to assist TAC in reviewing many sites through out Wake County. On August 23rd, 2003 thanks to a generous land gift by the Jacobs Group, a $1,000,000 cash grant from the Michael G. Curran Family Foundation and a $50,000 sales commission donation from Sanchez and Capps, TAC purchased 21.5 acres of land. The parcel was ideally located just 1/2 mile off a major intersection on I-40 and adjacent to the Town of Cary's largest shopping mall, the Cary Towne Center.

Aquatic Facility Design Approved
With an ideal site location secured, the TAC Board began the long process of designing and approving an aquatic facility that would address the health, safety, recreation and competition aquatic programming needs of Wake County citizens. TAC submitted a site plan and building plan to the Town of Cary and began having meetings with adjacent businesses and residents. On April 28, 2005, TAC moved another step forward with the final site plan approved by the Cary Town Council.

Financing Approved
With the leadership from Wachovia Bank's Cary Market President Mike DeBender, and the financial backing from the Michael G. Curran Family Foundation, a $10 million tax exempt bond offering was issued on August 16, 2006. An additional $7.5 million was raised from Wake County citizens, aquatic organizations, Corporate Sponsors and Foundations to cover the projected $17.5 million cost. Due to the significant increase of cement, steel and energy costs during this time period as well as change orders to permanently cover the ten lane 25-yard pool and enhancements to the aquatic facility, the projected cost to complete the aquatic facility increased from $17.5 million to $22.5 million. Wachovia Bank subsequently provided an additional $5 million line of credit to fund the additional costs.

Groundbreaking Ceremony
With the financing approved, the TAC Board selected Raleigh based Clancy & Theys Construction company as the general contractor and Paddock Construction company from Rock Hill, South Carolina as the pool contractor. On June 17, 2006, TAC celebrated the groundbreaking with Carolina Hurricanes mascot Stormy in the parking lot of the Cary Towne Center directly adjacent to the site. Speaking at the celebration was TAC volunteer President Michael Curran, Cary Town Council Mayor Pro Tem Jack Smith and Cary Chamber of Commerce President Howard Johnson. The ground breaking took place using hockey sticks from the recently crowned Stanley Cup champions Carolina Hurricanes instead of the customary shovels.

Grand Opening Ceremony
Exactly 2,000 days from the initial meeting on May 6, 2002, three of the initial six volunteer Board of Directors, Michael Curran, Carol Davis and Robbie Bell along with thousands of constituents, Strategic Partners and Corporate sponsors celebrated the Grand Opening of the largest public aquatic facility in North Carolina on October 28, 2007. Over 1,200 people attended the ceremony along with the Hurricanes mascot Stormy. Speakers included volunteer TAC President and Vice President Michael Curran and Carol Davis, Town of Cary Mayor Ernie McAlister, Wake County Chairman Tony Gurley, Cary Chamber President Howard Johnson and six time Masters World record holder, Sue Walsh. The "First Splash in the Pool" was won by thirteen year old Stephanie Calleja who completed a racing start off a starting block to be recognized as the first person in the pool.

It's Only the Beginning...



  
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