ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — It is no secret Central Texas is a hot spot for competitive swimming. Westwood High School Swim Coach Matt McBrearty says the sport has been exploding over the last few years at the high school level.
“We’re busy,” said McBrearty. “We have a big team. We had 49 swimmers and three divers last year.”
Losing is not in the Westwood Warriors’ DNA. They have won 15 of the last 16 district titles, despite some challenges.
“Our biggest issue is space,” said McBrearty.
The team practices at a neighborhood pool down the street from the school from September to February, which has six lanes for his 49 swimmers.
The Round Rock Independent School District pays to rent the pool and heat it in the winter. Each year, the district spends $67,000 to rent and heat pools used by school swim teams.
The expense is one reason RRISD is exploring the idea of teaming up with the City of Round Rock and the YMCA of Greater Williamson County to build an indoor aquatics facility. McBrearty said it would be the first of its kind in the area and comparable to joint-use natatoriums in Belton and San Antonio.
During a RRISD facilities meeting this week, the district said they are getting close to selecting a company to study whether or not the area can support an indoor aquatics facility, and how the partnership would work. The YMCA wants to operate the facility, and the Avery family — a family known for donating land for other big projects in Round Rock — wants to donate money for the land.
Sports Capital of Texas
This move could go with Round Rock’s marketing as the “Sports Capital of Texas.” They want to recruit tournaments, games and more. This month alone, Round Rock will host the High School Lacrosse State Championships, several basketball tournaments and an Ultimate Frisbee tournament. Sports events are a nearly $9 billion industry nationally.