Historic Phoenix Swim Club Facility Up for Demolition

PHOENIX, Arizona, December 11. THE 10-acre facility housing the Phoenix Swim Club will be demolished following the 2013 fall high school season. Houses will eventually cover its state-of-the-art 50 and 25-meter pools.

On December 6, the President of Brophy College Preparatory, Edward Reese, sent an email to a number of undisclosed recipients. It read:

Dear Brophy Faculty, Staff and Regents,

During this past week Brophy received an offer from an entity to purchase the Brophy Swim Club property at 28th Street and Campbell. Our Trustees have felt confident that it is a good offer and currently the property is in escrow. The buyer has hopes to develop homes that will enhance that neighborhood. As you know there are many hurdles to take before this offer becomes final.

We are beginning our first planning meeting very soon and our hope is that construction on the Brophy swimming pool on this campus will begin sometime this summer. We will continue to use the Campbell facility until the new pool is built so there will be no interruption to our state championship swim team. This is an exciting new adventure for all of us so stay tuned as I will share information with you as more substantive progress has been made.

Blessings,

Edward A. Reese, S.J.

Brophy College Preparatory, an all-boys Jesuit high school with a 25-year hold on the Arizona state championship title in swimming, purchased the facility in 2002. Brophy began constructing its own sports complex in early 2009. Whether the Phoenix Swim Club will run practices at Brophy's facility, following its completion, or through a number of feeder clubs is still to be determined.

“There is the intention of keeping it together, as a viable entity somewhere,” said Phoenix Swim Club Board member Sandy Lee. “We have a number of determined members.”

Membership for the club approaches nearly 500, about 290 club swimmers and 200 Masters swimmers utilizing the campus. In addition to its two pools, the property holds a weight room, basketball court and grass track field.

The club's Olympic history is highlighted by the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Phoenix Swim Club swimmers combined to win nine Olympic medals (four gold, three silver and two bronze) at the Games, a tally surpassing all but five countries that sent athletes.

This was due in part to the Phoenix Swim Club housing the World Sprint Team (now called The Race Club and relocated in Florida), created in a joint effort by famed coach Mike Bottom and three-time Olympian Gary Hall Sr. Hall's son, Gary Hall Jr., trained alongside Anthony Ervin as members of the World Sprint Team. The duo tied for Olympic gold in the 50 freestyle at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. On The Race Club website, Gary Hall Jr. credits the Phoenix Swim Club as the reason he began competitive swimming.

A number of notable coaches have come through the club's doors, including:

Dennis Pursley (now head coach of Alabama), Pierre La Fontaine (now head of Swimming Canada), Eric Hansen (now head coach of Arizona), Ray Looze (now head coach of Indiana), Dave Gibson (now at Fort Lauderdale), Roric Fink (now coaching at Texas), Mike Bottom (now head coach of the University of Michigan), and Brent Rutemiller (publisher of Swimming World Magazine).

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