The Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation continues to raise money and look for sponsors in hopes of soon opening the Destin Aquatics Center, formerly the Destin YMCA.

The center had set a goal to open on Monday, June 5, but finalizing repairs to the pools with the engineers will delay the grand opening, according to the foundation’s treasurer Kathi Heapy.

“We are still going back and forth with engineers and finding ways to get the pools up to code in an economic way,” she said.

The center is still hoping to open in June, but still needs about $12,000 to officially open.

“That is the minimum we need to just open the pools,” Heapy said. “There is still a lot more work to be done so the pools can be at their full potential.”

The pools will be used by local swimmers, students and residents. They will be able to train and participate in swimming programs. The center still needs to add more air conditioning and cooling and heating units.

“Once we open money will start coming in, but we will continue to fund raise because we want to make the pools the best that they can be and could be used year-round,” she said.

The pool facility has been closed since the local YMCA organization declared bankruptcy and shuttered their facilities in 2014. 

The Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation formed a year later with the mission of reopening the YMCA pool facilities in Fort Walton Beach and Destin. The Bernie R. Lefebvre Aquatic Center opened in Fort Walton Beach in December of 2015. The Fitness Foundation secured a contract with the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation to take over the old YMCA pools in Destin, and has been fundraising since January to get the facility up and running.

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