At the December 7 meeting of the Martin County Commission, each commissioner presented priority items for 2022.
Commissioner Doug Smith had as his #2 priority a Diving Well at Sailfish Splash for the competitive pool side and later Commissioner Ed Ciampi expressed support for that same item. Adding that deep well would require upgrading from the current springboards. Based on competitive standards, the required pool depth for a 5-meter platform is 13 feet and the 10-meter platform is 17 feet. The diving well is not meant for the general public to use.
If added to the Sailfish Splash Water Park, the 10-meter platform would be only one of 21 in the southeastern United States. In Florida, these 10-meter platforms currently exist in Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, Orlando, and Tallahassee.
In April 2021, the Indian River State College campus in Fort Pierce hosted the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Swimming and Diving National Championships. The diving included 1- and 3-meter springboard events allowing the men’s team to earn an unprecedented 47th consecutive national title. The reason it is important to know about the IRSC dominance in collegiate diving is the college’s plan to build new diving platform. USA Diving and the school plan to raise funds to build “a world-class, international diving facility on the Indian River State College Fort Pierce campus.”
Sailfish Splash has hosted many Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) swimming and diving meets in recent years including November of this year. Athletes from all over the state came to Stuart to compete for the state championships.
Though admirable for Commissioners Smith and Ciampi wanting to expand the potential visitors to Martin County to compete beyond the FHSAA level, the price tag to the taxpayers will be very high to build the necessary deep dive well and diving platforms, especially when IRSC will have one in Fort Pierce with planning already underway.
The commissioners need to ask themselves should this be supported by Martin County taxpayers.