Group launches petition to build an aquatic facility in New Hanover County

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – A group of citizens are hoping to get thousands of signatures for a petition to potentially build a new aquatic facility.

The “Build a Pool ILM” committee would like to build a “Class-A aquatic facility” in new hanover county, and is hoping to gather 20,000 signatures on a petition.

The committee believes the facility would address a lack of indoor pools, and deep-water pools.

“The closest 50-meter pool to Wilmington is about an hour and a half, 2 hours away in Goldsboro. Then there’s one in Raleigh, there is in Greensboro, and Charlotte. In Wilmington, we are the swimming city. We have a river, we have an ocean, so we need to be stepping up our game,” said  Richard Bober, Build a Pool ILM committee chairman.

Organizers say the aquatic center could also be used to provide more opportunities for swim training.

“Not just competitive and lap swimmers, but for our water aerobics, for water therapy, for our high school swim teams, for scuba diving training, lifeguard trainings, swim lessons. There is no true indoor year-round facility that can be used for all of those,” said Celia Wolff, Hawk Masters Swimming Association president.

Committee Chairman Richard Bober says if 20,000 registered voters in New Hanover County sign the petition, it will then be checked by the board of elections, and will be later presented to the Wilmington City Council.

“There will also be an economic impact and social impact on the community on the community. It will bring the community together, we will become a point of destination, that people will be coming here, if we build the right kind of facility,” said Bober.

The petition can be signed at Toad Hollow Swim and Athletics on Racine Drive, the YWCA on College Road, and during summer swim league meets at Rise Fitness Studio on Oleander Drive.  The Build a Pool-ILM Committee can be contacted at 910-447-2468 or

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