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Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 42 BETTER FACILITIES To prepare for the Pan-Am competition, he continued, the organizing committee made use of a $350,000 grant from the Sarasota County Commission and the $370,000 it raised to match those funds to undertake a number of improvements at the YMCA's aquatic center. Among those, he continued, are 850 additional seats in four new sections, three of which are covered by permanent shade structures. Previously, the facility had seating for 650, he said. The pool, which is 15 years old, was refurbished, he added, and Olympic-style starting blocks — "the newest, hottest thing going" — were installed; they are just like those used during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The eight blocks cost $3,500 apiece, he noted. A plate on the back of each block allows a swimmer to come off it just like sprinters do, he pointed out. U.S. Masters Swimming has announced the complete schedule for the 2013 Pan-American Masters Championship. Image courtesy Sarasota County Moreover, Weinrich said, the lanes were restriped and stainless steel dividers have been purchased to enable crews to divide the pool into three areas, "which allows us to run meets showers and installing new flooring, tile and much faster." That new feature also "gives us LED lighting. a big advantage in bidding [for] those meets," "We really tore it apart and put it back togethhe added. er," Weinrich said of that part of the complex. "We are now doing about 10 events a year," Thanks to the improvements at the Selby he said of U.S. Masters Swimming. Those are Aquatic Center, he continued, the national having an annual economic impact on the head of the YMCA was expected to come to county of about $3 million, Weinrich told the Sarasota the following week to talk about the TDC. possibility of his organization's holding its Workers gutted the interior of the locker Masters competition in Sarasota for the next rooms, he continued, tripling the number of two years. %

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