MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The County and City are teaming up to help fund a New Aquatics Center at the Mobile County Soccer complex site. It would give the City of Mobile Swim Association a new home and give the community a new venue to enjoy swimming, or learn to swim.

If they build it, will they come? CMSA Coach Tyler Kerns has worked with the association for 17 years and has spent a lot of time around the pool at Bishop State. Kerns and others dreamed that Mobile would one day build a new Aquatics Center.

“We love being at here at Bishop, we look forward to this new opportunity to grow into this Aquatic facility and take our team to different levels,” said Kerns. “And to take the community of Aquatics in Mobile to levels.”

That day could come in 2024, and the price tag?

“We are hoping to be in the $15-million dollar range, that’s kind of our goal, if we can get 15 to 20 that would be great!”

The current drawings show the center with two indoor pools and an outdoor pool that would be a multi-use pool with a priority on teaching Mobilians to swim.

“Especially for kids who are at risk, or minority communities, they have almost zero opportunity in our community to learn how to swim,” said Kerns. “Our goal is that every kindergartener and 1st grader in the city of Mobile, through the Public School System has an opportunity to have a swim lesson.”

Daryl Gomien’s daughter Swims for CMSA, he owns a pool company and he tells me after Covid the business of building backyard pools is booming.

“We saw a huge spike, immediately and it has yet to calm down. It’s still just as busy as it was,” said Gomien. “In 33 years of business I truly have customers now that have called me up and say, hey look, Daryl, my daughter’s a really great swimmer, you built this pool forever ago, what now?  And then I will send them to CMSA.”

“They are monumental, they taught me to swim, I did swim lessons as a kid, that’s how I got into swimming, I wouldn’t be where I am today without them,” said United States Olympian Paige Madden.