February 2021 In addition to celebrating the extraordinary dynasty of the Carmel High School girls\u2019 swim team and its incredible 35th IHSAA Swimming and Diving Championship it clenched earlier this month, the Carmel Swim Club (CSC) has the impending groundbreaking of a new facility, the Carmel Swim Academy, to look forward to this coming April. I spoke with head coach\/CEO Chris Plumb and CSC Director of Business Development Maggie Mestrich about the new facility, how it will impact the club members and staff and what it will offer the community in the way of noncompetitive programs as a whole. A Brief Overview of CSC and Carmel Swim Academy Mestrich shared that the club was established in 1973. Its mission, \u201cteaching excellence through swimming, for life,\u201d will be expanded upon with the completion of the new facility, located adjacent to the existing Carmel Total Fitness gym in Carmel. CSC currently provides swim lessons to more than 3,000 children annually\u2013\u2013 renting space across the city to accommodate the growing program. The Carmel Swim Academy is designed to provide a doorway to water safety that introduces whole families to lifelong self-improvement, wellness and success. Carmel Swim Academy will feature a 25-yard, six-lane training pool with zero-entry instructional space and a comfortable pool deck for dryland activities. Carmel Swim Academy will boast warm water and offer a mezzanine to optimize viewing of swim lessons, as well as family-friendly locker rooms. A Community Asset Plumb shared that a facility like the one that is about to commence construction this spring has been a dream of the CSC\u2019s for a long time. \u201cWe\u2019ve wanted to reach a greater population of our community and provide a greater service and save lives doing it,\u201d Plumb expressed. \u201cThis has been a dream of ours for the past 15 years, and we\u2019re finally able to bring it to a physical reality over the next year or so. For us, it\u2019s about being able to reach more people\u2014especially younger people in our community\u2014and teach them to be water safe and how to love and enjoy the water. Swimming is a lifelong sport, but if you don\u2019t know how to when you\u2019re younger, it gets harder when you\u2019re older.\u201d Currently, CSC\u2019s existing group swimming lesson programs are conducted at the PrimeLife Enrichment Center and Carmel High School. These programs will continue at this location throughout the construction process. \u201cWe\u2019re going to be a community asset in the way that we will be able to be open mornings, afternoons and nights,\u201d Plumb said. \u201cCarmel Swim Academy will be in connection to Carmel Total Fitness, so it\u2019s going to be conducive for people to have their child in a swim lesson and then go get a workout in right next door. It\u2019s going to provide a lot of opportunities for aquatic awareness and aquatic fitness for the community of Carmel.\u201d Competitive Swimming Is a Tradition of Excellence in Carmel The Carmel High School girls\u2019 swim team is a nationally recognized team, not to slight the boys\u2019 team, which is also recognized for its remarkable successes. So, while the Carmel Swim Academy is not being built for the sole purpose of supporting these outstanding teams, CSC is looking forward to the teams training and competing at the new facility in the near future. \u201cI feel the streak of 35 years demonstrates what happens when young women get together and work together for a cause greater than themselves,\u201d Plumb stated. \u201cIt demonstrates the power that young women have when they unite and do it athletically and consistently over time. We\u2019re talking generations now of these young women\u2014now we have daughters of women who were competing in the \u201980s, and it just amazes me.\u201d While the lessons of sportsmanship, teamwork, accountability, discipline and integrity are important to developing young swimmers, Plumb expressed that the support of the city and the entire community has been a key component to the Carmel High School swim teams\u2019 success. Plumb continued, \u201cWe have a community that really gets behind our young athletes, and we need to continue to empower our young guys and girls. That support just speaks to the excellence of our community.\u201d Mestrich added, \u201cCSC works within the framework of 10 core values, and we\u2019re really working hard to engage our youngest swimmers with those values. What does accountability mean? What does integrity mean? We have those broader conversations with our swimmers because we believe the sport of swimming is a wonderful vehicle for us to develop great young men and women. Consistency and results don\u2019t happen without constant innovation and inspiration. In addition to Chris\u2019 leadership, building this new facility is one more way to innovate and grow for the future.\u201d How You Can Help Be a Part of CSC\u2019s Progress Carmel Swim Academy is actively fundraising to support capital costs for construction and initial operations. However, the pool will be fully self-sustaining through programming fees. \u201cWe are trying to raise $1.5 million to get this done,\u201d Mestrich shared. \u201cSo, we need some community support, and we have a very passionate community that is excited to see this project happening, but we need some help to get there. We\u2019re looking to break ground in April, and while we\u2019re somewhat subject to delays that can happen with construction, we should be open by early next year.\u201d Key partners include GEA Architects, Summit Construction, The Veridus Group and BK Real Estate Ventures. A groundbreaking event, held at 820 East City Center Drive, is anticipated in April. For more information on the Carmel Swim Academy or to donate, please visit carmelswimacademy.org. And be sure to follow Carmel Swim Academy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates!