The area’s first indoor swim school will open for business in Columbia County next month.
Owners Lee Fuller and Amy Ristroph have had a few construction delays on the way to opening Dolphin Academy Swim School, but are now preparing to open the doors to students. The dedicated 7,000-square-foot teaching facility next door to Academy Sports in Evans is accepting registrations for classes in June.
“We’re excited,” Ristroph said as final touches were being put on the child-friendly facility.
Fuller and Ristroph had been searching for a permanent location for the school for nearly three years while offering swim lessons during the few hours they could get on the schedule at the Augusta Aquatics Center.
The new location, Fuller said, is close to the large number of clients in Columbia County, yet still easy to get to from Richmond County.
The school features a 75-foot-by-25-foot regulation heated swimming pool big enough to hold several swim classes at once.
“It’s a monster,” Fuller said of the pool.
Water in the pool will turn over three times faster than a traditional pool and features an ultraviolet light water purification system to keep it safe and clean with less chlorine or other chemicals.
The school also features two bathrooms, an on-deck bathroom and rinse showers, and eight heated individual dressing rooms.
“This way, daddies can take their little girls in here and you’re not having to take them into the men’s bathroom, and the same for moms,” Ristroph said.
The parents can enjoy watching their child’s swim lessons from the air-conditioned lobby.
“That’s why we have the glassed-in areas for the parents to sit here and be comfortable,” Ristroph said. “But you’re still close enough you can see everything that is going on with your children.”
The school offers swim classes for all ages from babies up through adults as well as a swim club and classes for triathletes and team swimmers. Fuller said she’s taught babies as young as 6 months old up to a 70-year-old man and all ages in between.
The pair say it became difficult to schedule lessons in only a few hours here or there at the aquatics center and knew a family-friendly facility was the answer.
“We’re taking registrations,” Fuller said. “We’ve got a good number signed up already. But boy we can really accommodate a lot of lessons.”
For more information or to register, visit www.iswimdolphin.com or call (803) 341-2102.