Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center

About the Project

The Fort Lauderdale City Commission awarded a design-build contract to Hensel Phelps in August 2018 for the renovation of the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center (FLAC). Located on the city’s beach barrier island as part of a five-acre peninsula along the Intercoastal Waterway, the site is also the headquarters of the International Swimming Fall of Fame.


The venue renovations include the demolition and construction of new swimming pools that will be FINA (Fédération International de Natation) compliant and meet international swimming diving, water polo and artistic swimming competition standards. This state-of-the-art sports destination and landmark is home to the United States’ first (and the world’s second) 27-meter permanent dive tower. This is another of many firsts for the City of Fort Lauderdale, having built the first Olympic-sized swimming pool in the state of Florida in 1928, followed by the iconic Swimming Hall of Fame complex in 1965.


At 101-feet above grade, the dive tower includes nine platform levels and combines springboard (1M, 3M), platform diving (1M, 3M, 5M, 7.5M and 10M) and high diving (15M, 20M, 24M and 27M). The tower is constructed of 96 precast concrete panels and rests on a foundation five-feet deep and 53-feet wide, supported by 35 auger cast piles at a depth of 60-feet. With 162 steps to the top, the inspiration of the tower design reflects Fort Lauderdale’s rich history as the Venice of America and the Bahia Mar Yacht Basin with its flared platforms inspired by the hull lines of a ship.


The new pools will include a 53M x 25M main competition pool with two movable bulkheads, a 25M x 25M diving pool, a 14FT diameter circular spa, and a new filtration system, gutters and resurfacing for the existing 50M x 25Y training pool. The major renovation will also include two other facilities: a 8,800 SF grandstand building with bleachers, spectator restrooms, concession, ticket office, video scoreboards; and a 16,106 SF locker room and administrative building which will include power connections for broadcast of national and international events through satellite trucks. Site improvements include parking, drainage improvements, new stadium lighting, landscaping, sidewalks and a new main entry plaza.


The Hensel Phelps design-build team consists of Cartaya & Associates, Counsilman-Husaker, Gate Precast, Weller Pools, Keith & Associates, Langan, WSP, HyPower Inc, Econstruct, Southeast Precast Erectors, and Right Way Plumbing Company. The Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center is scheduled for substantial completion in September 2022.