Farmingdale School District recently held an intimate ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new state-of-the-art Aquatic Center before the varsity girls’ first meet of the season.
Athletes, swim team alums, current and former Daler swim coaches, administration, the board of education, village trustees and the architecture and construction firms who brought the district’s vision to life were in attendance.
Farmingdale Schools Superintendent Paul Defendini addressed the crowd and thanked everyone involved with the project before giving varsity swim captains the honor of cutting the ceremonial ribbon.
The Aquatic Center was part of a multi-million dollar project undertaken by the Farmingdale School District in 2016, just as the high school pool approached the 50-year mark.
“Pools aren’t supposed to live for fifty years,” Superintendent Paul Defendini said. “If you get thirty, you’re lucky. Forty is a miracle and 50 is unheard of. The fact that we were nearing our fiftieth anniversary made us realize we had to do something.”
Residents approved a $36 million bond for the sports complex and aquatic center during the budget vote that year. The bond allowed for the rebuilding of Farmingdale High School’s stadium, construction of new baseball, softball and multi-purpose stadiums at Howitt Middle School and upgrades to every field in the school district.
“This facility is truly unique,” Paul Defendini said. “This is something that doesn’t exist anywhere in New York state, let alone a school district like Farmingdale.”
The Aquatic Center will significantly impact the district’s swim program and the community.
“I would imagine our record books will be rewritten within the next few years,” Head Swim Coach Ken Ilchuk said. “It allows us to compete at the highest level because we have more kids, more depth, and probably the best facilities in New York state.”
Unlike the existing pool at Farmingdale High School, the Aquatic Center is detached from Howitt Middle School, allowing community members to access the pool during school hours.
Farmingdale School District’s Continuing Community Education program will offer water aerobics, snorkeling, water volleyball, scuba diving, adult learn-to-swim, Mommy-Daddy-and-Me classes and more.
A motorized lift will be available to help those who need it get into the pool. Program information, including dates, times, costs, and registration information, can be found on the district’s website. Open swim will be free for anyone living within the Farmingdale School District’s boundaries. Proper student or staff ID, or proof of residency, will be required.
—Submitted by the Farmingdale School District