Mason city officials have announced a $5 million fund-raising campaign to replace the Lou Eves outdoor pool with a Olympic-style aquatic center to better serve the public and the local competitive swim teams. The Lou Eves pool is nearly 50 years old and in recent years has been undergoing repairs (pictured). (File Photo/Journal-News)

Mason latest city to focus on new aquatic centers for teams, public

City officials in the southern Warren County community this week announced their efforts to raise $5 million in private donations to help offset the costs of replacing the current Lou Eves Municipal outdoor pool at 6249 Mason-Montgomery Road.

MORE: Mason’s Lou Eves aging pool calls for changes say city officials

Oxford this summer opened a new swimming and water park facility to better serve its residents.

Mason’s facility would also be home for the Mason Manta Rays, a widely acclaimed youth competitive swim team, which has won numerous national honors in recent years.

“When we established the Mason Manta Rays 15 years ago, we had no idea how successful this program would become,” said Chrissy Avery, Parks and Recreation Director with the City of Mason.

“We’ve grown to more than 300 swimmers and have a wait list of 150. We will create a 50-meter aquatic center. This is a huge deal for everyone interested in competitive swimming and aquatic sports.”

The Mason Manta Rays are a USA Swimming Gold Medal Club, ranked in the top 1 percent of 3,000 USA Swimming teams and is the highest rated team in the country without a 50-meter pool, according to a statement released by swim club officials.

They said the Manta Rays have competed in every Olympic Trial since 2008, and so far 11 Manta Rays will compete in the Olympic Trials for the 2020 Games.

According to city officials, the new Mason Municipal Aquatic Center would be versatile and designed for swimmers of all ages and abilities, providing a foundation for an even stronger competitive program.

The year-round facility will feature a 10-lane, Olympic-sized venue and can be reconfigured for a 20-lane, short-course venue. Two full competition pools with warm-up areas are possible. The aquatic center will open up opportunities for programs like Masters’ swimming and Triathlon training as well as Special Olympics and Paralympics events, they said.

In June, Oxford city officials opened a new $4.5 million aquatic center in Oxford Community Park.

MORE: Oxford opens Butler County’s newest aquatic center

The facility has a separate competition pool, so swim team use will not prevent the public from using the pool .

At its opening in June, center officials said the local swimming team had drawn 175 young swimmers and credited the excitement around the new facility.

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