Vacant West End department store to be transformed into new aquatics center

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A vacant West End department store will soon take on new life.

The old Macy’s at Regency Square is going to be transformed into an aquatics center. The facility will be a hub for NOVA of Virginia Aquatics.

NOVA’s executive director, Anne McGee, told 8News the space inside the former department store will accommodate a 50-meter pool and two smaller ones that will be used for swim meets, lessons and even therapeutic fitness training.

“I think it’s genius, McGee said. “Right now Nova Aquatics is at capacity, and this space gives us the room to yet to add the water that we need.

A vacant West End department store will soon take on new life.

By partnering with Henrico County and the YMCA, the pool will also be open to the community, part of a county initiative to help prevent drownings.

“We’ve been working very hard on finding facilities that the county could support in order to teach swimming for all children and high school students in the county, Henrico County Supervisor Patricia O’Bannon explained.

A vacant West End department store will soon take on new life.

Bringing people in to swim is also expected to bring more business. Regency Square has been working hard on revitalizing 

“We love Regency, O’Bannon added. “It’s where we go to have fun, and to eat, and so this will be one more thing you can do here, and it again it’s a place for kids to come that’s good, clean wholesome fun.

A vacant West End department store will soon take on new life.

So, who’s going to pay for this? The county is kicking in $1.75 million which will be paid out over five years time. NOVA, which is a non-profit, is contributing $3 million. 

Regency will also help fund the project by making changes to the existing building.

Right now, officials hope to open the aquatics center in early 2021. 

Find 8News on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.

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