Opelika, Alabama Approves Plans for New 50-Meter Pool

The City of Opelika, Alabama is receiving a significant upgrade to its aquatics offerings, with the city’s sportsplex planning to break ground next month on a new 8-lane 50-meter outdoor pool with covered seating for about 675 people. The project has a planned opening date of 2024.

The City of Opelika’s swim program, led by 2012 Olympic gold medalist Tyler McGill, currently trains out of an 8 lane, 25 yard indoor pool that will also receive some lighting upgrades as part of the project. That pool is located next door to the new outdoor pool.

The expansion of the aquatics facilities also will include upgrades to the outdoor 25-yard pool at the Covington Rec Center.

“It’s a very traditional, classic outdoor pool from that timeframe, so it definitely needs to be upgraded to reflect what the modern swimmer and the modern family is looking for in terms of what they want to be able to do in the water and around the water all day,” McGill said when the project was proposed.

That plan will create an “ultimate family fun” outdoor pool that includes a large water slide, water play features, a spray pad, and a pavilion for hosting parties, as well as a zero-depth entry. This pool will also have a few 25-yard lap lanes used for recreational and exercise lap swimming.

The goal for the new 50 meter pool is two-fold: opening up lane space for the general public between 4:30 and 7:30 PM, when the swim team is most active, and creating opportunities to host big meets.

“There’s a lot of lap swimmers that would love to use the pool in the evenings, but there’s no lap space because the swim team is in the pool,” McGill said. “It’ll allow us to allow those members to continue to use the facility when we’re hosting meets outside of the new facility, so it opens up the opportunity for everybody to have full advantage of the space and the needs.”

McGill believes that hosting larger meets will bring in about $2 million per year to the city of Opelika in the beginning.

With highs in the upper 50s throughout the year, swimmers in Opelika can train outdoors (in heated water) most of the time.

Opelika, located near McGill’s college home in Auburn, had a population of 30,955 in the 2020 census. That makes it the 14th-largest city in Alabama.

See more renderings of the upgrades below:

council pp 5.16 (1)

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Wella Hartig
3 months ago

Congratulations, you swam with my daughter at Auburn!!

4 months ago

The more 50m pools the merrier!
I hope to swim in this facility some day!!

4 months ago

I hope the plans call for shade covering & aerators. That pool will absolutely bake in the summer.

4 months ago

Everybody manages to get 50m pools built, except my region. We suck

4 months ago

Really won’t matter if Margo is still coaching…..

Reply to  Yup
4 months ago

That’s on the opposite side of the state and has nothing to do with Opelika, AL..

Reply to  Yup
4 months ago

Doesn’t matter regardless since Tuscaloosa is on the other side of the state

Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

Braden’s next career – sensitivity trainer!

Sun Yangs Hammer
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

The MJ of swimswam hating 💪✊😤

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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