SOUTH TAMPA — On Friday, ground will be broken for the Carol Kennedy Aquatic Center, a $3.5-million complex to include three pools.
Located at the South Tampa Family Y Center, 4411 S. Himes Ave., the new aquatic center will include a water park with a safe place for families to spend quality time; a warm water therapy pool for older adults and those recovering from illness, surgery or suffering from a disability; and a lap pool for the entire family for swimming lessons, exercise and training for competition.
Construction will take between six and eight months. The new Carol Kennedy Aquatic Center will be built on the opposite side of the current pool. That pool will be closed when the new center opens.
The center is named for Carol Kennedy, the daughter of philanthropists David and Liz Kennedy who died in 1984 in a car accident. The entire Kennedy family has a long history with the South Tampa Y.
David Kennedy grew up in the South Tampa Y. He learned how to swim there and now serves on the Tampa Y Governance Board. He is former board chair and played an instrumental role in the capital campaign efforts. His wife also played an integral role in the creation of the Y’s Neighborhood of Promise in Sulphur Springs. That initiative birthed the Community Learning Center at Sulphur Springs Elementary and Layla’s House, and an early childhood learning center.