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March 12, 2008 > Fremont Swim Center breaks ground

Fremont Swim Center breaks ground

By Justine Yan
Photos By Shari Wargo

While many swimming facilities in the Bay Area have been described as "pools in a box," the Fremont Swim Center will be a roomy, well-lit exception. Slated to open in September of this year, the center will give "swimmer parents," Fremont City Hall and the community much to anticipate.

The center, located near Fremont Boulevard and I-880, will include two pools heated year-round. Large skylights and mobile glass panels are featured in the design as well.

Perhaps most impressive, however, is that the new facility is entirely funded by private investors. Two rounds of fundraising have allowed founders Joseph He and his wife, Olympic swimmer Xiaohong Wang, to purchase land and begin construction. The couple sold their property in Nevada to contribute to the project.

He and his wife said they hope the center will provide the community with an accessible, state-of-the-art facility for swimming. The Fremont Swim Center will offer a variety of aquatic services, including competitive training for youth, lessons for different ages and skill levels, lap swimming sessions, and aquatic therapy.

"[There are] a lot of things we can do, and that we plan to do," said He.

He recalled that, when he and Wang moved to Fremont 10 years ago, they struggled to find a public pool nearby. Membership fees and limited access prevented them from finding a suitable pool.

Five years ago, they created the California Dolphin Swim School, which currently has over 600 students. The swim school has rented pools at different locations, including California State University East Bay and Mission San Jose High School. He said the support of students and parents have led the couple to pursue their long-time dream of finding a permanent home, a prominent "swim house," for their swimmers.

Now residing in Union City, He and Wang view the construction of the center as a response to a growing demand for their services. He also noted that it's a pleasant coincidence that the center will be completed following the close of the Beijing Summer Olympics. To He and Wang, though, victory begins with the opening of the Fremont Swim Center.

"We can build up this platform for my wife. [As an] Olympic medallist, she can have a permanent stage to perform coaching and to pass on her rich competitive experience," He said.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Fremont Swim Center was held on Thursday, Feb. 28. Honored guests were Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman, Vice Mayor Bill Harrison, and Fremont Council Member Steve Cho. Each offered his words of encouragement and voiced great enthusiasm.

"It's a great win...to private investors. It's a great win for the community. It's a great win for the city," said He.

For more information about the Fremont Swim Center, visit www.ca-dolphins.com.

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