A swimming program in Chesterfield County has become too big a fish for its pond.
Quest Swimming has kicked off a project to build a 25-yard, four-lane pool in a new 5,700-square-foot building on its property at 6800 Deer Run Drive. The organization hopes to finish construction early next year.
The new pool comes as Quest also explores expanded programming and swim-lesson partnerships with private schools.
Upon the project’s completion, Quest will have two pools in separate structures: one dedicated to the program’s swim school and the other a homebase for Quest’s swim team.
The new pool facility is expected to cost $1.8 million, and in addition to the pool will also feature locker rooms, restrooms, a lobby for parents and offices, said CEO Chad Onken.
Onken said the expansion will help facilitate the growth of both programs. It will also simplify the coordination of both programs’ activities. Currently, Quest uses its single pool for both swim lessons and its swim team. Quest’s existing pool has six lanes and is 25 yards in a 1,500-square-foot facility.
“We are at capacity for sure and trying to do both swim school and swim team in the same facility is extremely difficult,” he said.
The swim team has about 275 members, and Onken said he’d like to see it grow further to 300 members or more. The Quest swimming lessons program, which offers lessons to children and adults, has about 500 participants weekly.
“Our vision is for the creation of an aquatic campus that can service and help anyone in any aquatic situation,” he said. “When people think aquatics, we want people to think Quest Swimming.”
The project’s general contractor is Graybeale Construction. The architecture firm is Balzer and Associates. Quest plans to finance the project through a loan with Old Point National Bank.
Quest has 25 part-time and full-time employees. While it expects to increase its headcount, Onken said a specific number hasn’t been settled on yet.
The new pool will also help Quest expand its programming. Onken said he’d like to attract more people who need space to train for triathlons.
“It’s not something we’re known for, but that’s one of a few things we want to become known for,” he said.
Onken said there are ongoing talks between Quest and undisclosed local private schools to ink deals in which Quest would be paid to offer swimming lessons to students, which would be a first for the organization.
“It’s a really big deal, absolutely, but our talks at this point are very preliminary,” he said.
Onken co-owns Quest with John Smithson.
Quest isn’t the only local swim club that’s been in expansion mode. Henrico-based NOVA of Virginia Aquatics opened a 50,000-square-foot swimming facility at the former Macy’s South building in Regency late last year.