Greensboro, NC -- City leaders broke ground Wednesday on a new 58,000 square foot aquatic center at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
"It's just amazing to me," said 10-year-old swimmer Kirk Atwell, who will get a new place for swim practice.
Representatives with the Convention and Visitors Bureau say the new center could bring up to $40 million a year in tourism revenue.
The aquatic center project got out of the gates with enthusiasm in 2008 as Greensboro voters OK'd a $12 million bond to fund a venue that would attract statewide, regional and even national events.
The new center is not without controversy. As the groundbreaking approached, the price tag ballooned to around $18.8 million. That's a $6.8 million gap in what voters funded and what Greensboro's old city council approved.
In December, new mayor Bill Knight and other members of council questioned the price tag saying it was not what residents voted for.
During that meeting, the council voted to approve, by a slim margin, the extra $6.8 million in bond money, planning to use hotel tax money for it.
Completion of the aquatic center is scheduled for Summer 2011.
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