The brand new Deaconess Aquatic Center in Evansville, Indiana officially opened on Friday after holding a virtual dedication ceremony that featured Olympic gold medalist and Evansville native Lilly King.
King was the guest of honor at the grand opening, with the main competition pool being named after her and a large mural featuring King placed on the poolside wall.
— Indiana Swimming (@INSwimming) October 1, 2021
Officials are calling the pool the future of water sports in Evansville and the surrounding area.
After a series of ribbon-cutting events to open the facility, nine local age group swimmers took to the blocks with King. You can watch some video highlights (and the entire ceremony stream if you wish) courtesy of 14 News here.
”This facility is going to change this community forever,” King told 14 News. “It’s bringing aquatics to a much broader audience, and not just competitive. While the competitive swimming side of it is obviously fantastic, it’s so much more than that. I think it’s going to bring a real impact.
“Growing up I never thought we’d be here, so to see it finally be done and be complete and have kids swimming in the pool is really, really cool.”
Officials also announced that the 2026 NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships would be held at the facility.
King was born and raised in Evansville, attending FJ Reitz High School where the swim team shared Lloyd Pool with five other swim teams.
The now-24-year-old went on to compete collegiately with Indiana University, winning eight individual NCAA titles for the Hoosiers while winning two Olympic gold medals at the 2016 Games in Rio before adding three more medals this past summer in Tokyo.