Construction starts on DuPage County aquatic center designed to build swimming skills for all ages and create Chicago-area destination for major swim competitions

[Westmont, IL] – For years, the Illinois Age Group State Championship meet has been held in Wisconsin, and this year in Indiana. Also, only two high school pools, both on Chicago’s North Shore, are capable of hosting the Illinois High School Association’s (IHSA) Swimming & Diving State Finals. Clearly, Illinois swimmers have a shortage of natatoriums for major events.

The tide, however, is turning, thanks to the FMC Natatorium at Ty Warner Park now under construction in the DuPage County community of Westmont, just over 20 miles west of downtown Chicago. The 71,000-square-foot facility, designed by Legat Architects, will not only give Illinois age group and senior swimmers a new home for its annual meet, but it will also provide a third option—the other two are over 80 years old—for hosting IHSA state meets. The facility will even be able to host national-level events. Additionally, the FMC Natatorium will become home to a traveling youth competitive swim team that previously lacked a dedicated pool.

The FMC Natatorium at Ty Warner Park features an Olympic-size, 50-meter primary pool for competitions, training, diving, water polo, and more.

The FMC Natatorium at Ty Warner Park features an Olympic-size, 50-meter primary pool for competitions, training, diving, water polo, and more.

In mid-December, over 200 members of the swimming community gathered in the Mallard Room at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort and Conference Center to celebrate the start of construction. Mary Ann and Mark Kaufman, founders of the not-for-profit FMC Aquatic Opportunities (with a nod to the Kaufman’s daughters; For My Children,) joined other dignitaries to introduce the natatorium.

“Many swim families have to travel to Wisconsin and Indiana for our Illinois state meets,” said Mary Ann Kaufman. “I think we’d all like to keep those swim dollars right here in Illinois.” The audience responded to her statement with resounding applause.

The Kaufmans stated that in addition to hosting major events, the FMC Natatorium at Ty Warner Park will become a regional destination that makes swimming accessible to as many children and adults as possible. FMC Natatorium plans to work with the Westmont Park District to offer classes to residents and neighboring communities. Programming will include offerings for children and adults, as well as individuals with special needs.

A 25-meter development pool will welcome adult and youth exercise classes, team development programs, swim lessons for all ages, kids’ birthday parties, and ten and under programming.

At the groundbreaking, U.S. Olympic swimmer David Sims talked about the role that swimming played in his life and related that to the FMC Natatorium’s potential to change lives. He said, “No doubt about it, there will be kids who come to this pool and see things they’ve never seen before, and it may take them to places they’ve never been before.”

The project has been in the works since 2015 and construction is expected to finish in 2020.

Click here to read more.