Wilkinson dives into effort to replace training facility UT isn't the only university to find divers at the Woodlands. 'Well over 140 divers have received Division I scholarships; that's every single diver for the last 19 or 20 years who graduated,' Armstrong said. 'That's our No. 1 goal, to get their education paid for. The Olympics is just the icing on the cake.'"Let's do some math.
UT isn't the only university to find divers at the Woodlands. "Well over 140 divers have received Division I scholarships; that's every single diver for the last 19 or 20 years who graduated," Armstrong said. "That's our No. 1 goal, to get their education paid for. The Olympics is just the icing on the cake."
New plan for pool
The Woodlands, which opened in 1974, boasts that it is the first master-planned community in Texas, and it is certainly one of the largest, most successful and well known. In 2000, the bedroom community 25 miles north of Houston had a population that exceeded 55,000; it's now approaching 90,000. The community was the vision of oil and gas magnate George Mitchell and was designed to be an alternate to the sprawling suburbs, incorporating nature and outdoor activities into everyday life. The private athletic club, with its swimming and diving facilities, was one of the development's original amenities.
Of the Woodlands' diving well, Scoggin said, "It's my favorite outdoor facility in the world. It's surrounded by all these pine trees. It's picturesque and pristine, and it's neat the way the way they can pack the crowd around the pool. It's like tennis at Wimbledon."
The Woodlands will open a new $5 million aquatic center this year. Instead of platforms and springboards, however, the kid-friendly facility will have a lazy river for floating and a two-story slide.
Susan Vreeland-Wendt, marketing director for the Woodlands Development Corp., which controls land use in the community, confirmed that the club is scheduled to close at the end of the year.
"The cost of renovation would be pretty big," she said. "I really can't say anything specifically, but we're looking at a lot of options."
Possible uses for the club site include townhomes, condominiums or an expansion of the Woodlands' resort and conference center.
Armstrong said there were plans to close the club before the 2008 Olympics, but the development corporation has kept it open so that the divers would have somewhere to train.
"I thank them for letting us stay," Armstrong said. "I'm sad to see it go. I have some strong feelings for this, but I understand it's totally a business decision."
There have been 140 college scholarships x $80,000 (average) = $11-million in college aid.
The boost to the local economic situation in terms of hosting events, property values, and so on ... priceless.