Triangle Aquatic Center Will Open a New 50-Meter Pool on Monday

The Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, North Carolina, already a center-point of the state’s robust swimming industry, is getting a little bigger. On Monday, the center will open a new outdoor 50-meter pool, which will be the first outdoor pool of that size built in Eastern North Carolina since 1981.

This gives the facility 9 new 50-meter lanes or 20 new 25-yard lanes, depending on the pool setup. The pool also includes both heating and chilling technology, allowing swimmers to train outdoors year-round.

“This new 50-meter pool and supporting amenities demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the growth of health, safety and swimming in the Triangle community,” said Michael Curran, Founder of TAC. “TAC now offers our community four pools totaling 1.75 million gallons of water and fifty-five swim lanes on a 21.5-acre aquatic campus at a cost of $32.5 million.”

The pool also features built-in canopies for coaches and athletes.

The new pool cost $5.5 million, and like most of the costs for the pool, it was financed and repaid by the operating success of the facility’s programs.

Mark Crank, the center’s director of operations, said that there were a lot of reasons to add water to the center.

“Programming at TAC had almost completely filled the availability of the existing water, particularly during prime hours,” Frank said. “Programming includes events, our TAC TITANS, Learn-to-Swim, Certifications, Fitness, Open Swim Lanes, and Community Rentals.

“From a community standpoint, we needed to increase the capacity for our Center which will allow all programming additional space.”

Frank says that the TAC Titans, a club that ranked #1 in the nation in USA Swimming’s Club Excellence program for 2021, has long wait lists as well. The new facility will allow them to add new practice groups and new practice times.

“We are anticipating more than 1000 swimmers on the TAC TITANS for the upcoming 2022-2023 season,” Frank said, adding that the facility expects to add about 10% more events next season, bringing the facility close to 100 events annually.

Frank does not anticipate using the new pool to host meets, as it was built for training and programming, but that it will be used as warmup/cooldown space for some large meets in the spring, summer, and fall.

The facility, operated as a not-for-profit, opened in 2002. The new outdoor pool is a fourth tank in the facility, joining the indoor 50-meter competition pool, a 25-yard/10-lane program pool, and a walk-in instructional pool.

The main indoor pool includes spectator seating for up to 1000 people off-deck, with room for an additional 800 swimmers, coaches, and staff on deck.

The pool is home to a number of elite national and international-swimmers. That includes Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalist Claire Curzan, and Tokyo 2020 Paralympians Hannah Aspden and Morgan Stickney, who each won two gold medals. Ashley Twichell, a two-time World Champion and Tokyo 2020 Olympian in open water, also trained there until her retirement.

London 2012 Olympic gold medalist Claire Donahue is also on the Titan’s coaching staff under Bruce Marchionda, who has put swimmers on two of the last three U.S. Olympic Teams.

Several LSC and national age group records have been set in the facility, as has one current American and US Open Record. Regan Smith, while she was training with the Riptide in Minnesota, attended the Cary Sectionals meet at TAC in March 2019. There, she swam 1:47.16 in the 200-yard backstroke, which remains the fastest-ever time in that event.

The grand opening event will be held at 3:00 PM on Monday and will be attended by the mayor of Cary, Harold Weinbrecht.

Cary, located near the state’s “triangle area” that centers around Raleigh, has a population of about 175,000. While a site of growing importance in swimming, the city is already a centerpoint of soccer in the United States, especially amateur soccer. Centered around the presence of the nearby superpower soccer programs at the University of North Carolina, WakeMed Soccer Park has a 10,000 seat stadium that is home to two professional soccer clubs and that has hosted the NCAA Championships 13 times in the 2000s.

Courtesy: Mark Frank

Courtesy: Mark Frank

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Charlie Houchin
1 year ago

Hey all, just wanted to share a small bit about the inspiration for the outdoor 50m pool at TAC.

I’m on the board at TAC, and the Titans have competed against TIDE up in VA Beach/Norfolk on/off for many years. TIDE has a beautiful outdoor 50m pool they use and I was able to visit several years ago w Jack Roach to see the facility. This catalyzed our emphasis on maintaining an outdoor facility 365 days (as TIDE does). TAC associate head coach John Payne and I were a part of this “outdoor concept” discussion for TAC back in 2012.

There’s at least one other yr round club in the Raleigh area who utilizes an outdoor facility yr-round (New… Read more »

Triangle Fan
1 year ago

Wasted opportunity to design and build a triangular pool.

Reply to  Triangle Fan
1 year ago

Time to put your money where your username is and figure out how to build a competition-ready, triangle-shaped pool. No trapezoids, no leisure pools, no hot tubs. A competition pool.

1 year ago

Does anyone know where the pysch sheet is for Sectionals @Tac Titans this week?

East Coast Swammer
1 year ago

honestly looks like a pretty garbage facility. Nothing around the pool. big big waste

Joel Lin
Reply to  East Coast Swammer
1 year ago

It’s a training pool & a very good one. The purpose isn’t to stage events.

Reply to  East Coast Swammer
1 year ago

I don’t understand how anyone who reads SwimSwam could disparage a new 50 meter pool anywhere no matter the surroundings.

Coach Tom
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 year ago

Because while we will talk endlessly about the need for new pools, we’re also insanely petty and jealous and hate it whenever someone else gets something nice. My guess is it’s sour grapes from another team in the area that has a hard time coping with TAC’s rise.

1 year ago

And the rich get richer, but good for them to figure out how to do this!

1 year ago

Isane… the team keeps getting bigger and bigger. Idk of any other teams that have legit 7 different senior programs

The Original Tim
Reply to  1650butterfly
1 year ago

NCAP fits that bill, but that’s because they’re effectively different franchises at the different training locations.

Either way, these monster teams are a far cry from the 80-150 swimmer teams I swam on growing up!

Reply to  The Original Tim
1 year ago

I think for those large, multi-site teams, it’s more financially advantageous to remain part of the larger parent club. With incentive programs like Club Excellence, it’s better to be associated with the clubs that make a lot of money. It also helps the athletes if they get to train with all of the fastest swimmers in the area rather than being on different, smaller clubs. The downside is that when Club politics come into play (and they always do), swimmers are forced to choose between staying in a bad place, or leaving to go swim at second-rate facilities with smaller teams.

1 year ago

Sponsored by Epic Games. At least that is my wish. 🙂

Reply to  R&R
1 year ago

For those that don’t know, the TAC facility is ~6 miles from NCSU campus (vs 28 miles to UNC) and was built on the corner property of Cary Towne Center. This adjacent Center is currently being torn down as it was purchased by EPIC Games, who is investing $200MM into the site’s conversion into an 87 acre immersive campus (2025). Epic Games (Fortnite/Unreal Engine) is a leader in engine technology for gaming, entertainment, and movie special effects (CGI). Unreal Engine 5 is now being used as a live rendering platform, replacing greenscreen technology. Film directors will build small sets with LED panels projecting the virtual image that correlates to the set’s lighting and design. The camera has a phase trajectory… Read more »

Joel Lin
Reply to  FrmrPackCaptn
1 year ago

Didn’t NC State get an outdoor 50m pool adjacent to their current indoor facility?

I rather doubt NCS student athletes would be pumped to commute to a facility, albiet a nice one in a neighboring town, unless an infilled need is served (like a 10 meter platform at TAC’s indoor facility).

Last edited 1 year ago by Joel Lin
NC Fan
Reply to  Joel Lin
1 year ago

COVID happened

1 year ago

who did bruce put on the 2016 team?

Reply to  question
1 year ago

Im wondering same

terrible with names
Reply to  question
1 year ago

Cant remember her name but she swam the 100 fly. From WKU

Reply to  terrible with names
1 year ago

The article mentions Claire Donahue who made the 2012 team not 2016.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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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