The City of Fort Lauderdale has awarded a $32 million contract to redevelop the International Swimming Hall of Fame complex and specifically its aging aquatics center, but not everyone is happy with the move.
This comes as rumors are abound that the ISHOF will move west to California, with among the proposals being inclusion in a new complex that is being constructed around the new stadium of the San Francisco 49’ers of the NFL.
“Not only was ISHOF not consulted about the new aquatic facility (in violation of their agreement with us),” said ISHOF President and CEO Bruce Wigo, “the County Inspector General has declared that the bidding process for the new Hall of Fame re-development broke the law.”
Specifically, the accusations from the County’s Inspector General are that the bid was not done within appropriate guidelines.
According to a local news website local10.com, the bidding, won by Recreation Design and Construction, was settled with only one entered bid, instead of the three expected to be collected.
County Inspector General John Scott told Local10 that “We found one or two perspective bidders who actually said, look, if that’s the way they want it done, it’s a problem.”
This is in contrast to statements made by Ft. Lauderdale’s mayor, which say that they struggled to find additional bidders.
The fate of the Hall of Fame has been in jeopardy since problems with the integrity of the grandstand left chaos at the YMCA Short Course National Championships a few years ago, and led to subsequent editions making rare appearances outside of Ft. Lauderdale.