Current News

Current News

Better Where it’s Wetter

Monday, March 20, 2017

A local partnership has unveiled plans for the Elkhart Health, Fitness, Aquatics and Community Center, which will be a stand-out investment in quality of place for the city. 

Created by the Community Foundation of Elkhart County and Beacon Health Systems, the 170,000 sq. ft., $65 million facility is being reported as the largest project in the history of the city. Project leaders project the facility will have an annual impact of over $4.7 million.

“This fits well with the idea of placemaking that we are trying to create here in the city, where we have a good quality of life and residents feel good about the city and themselves,” said Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese. “This project is going to transform the city.”

Community Foundation of Elkhart County president Pete McCown agreed. “When businesses realize that we are drawing in between 35,000 and 50,000 visitors on an annual basis, half of them staying overnight, you will begin to attract hotels and [restaurants]. This will give developers a reason to build here and it will spur development throughout the city.”

Expected to attract high-level amateur swimming and diving championships as well as high school events from throughout the region, the complex will include a 66 by 25 meter competition pool, diving well with 5- and 3-meter platforms and multiple 1-meter boards in the 1,200 seat natatorium. Also included area a 25-year fitness pool, a therapeutic pool, wet classroom, gymnasium, community atrium and patio with walking trail access.

The project is mainly funded through private donors and collaborations with community organizations. The Community Foundation of Elkhart County contributed a $10 million grant ($5 million towards the project and $5 million matching grant towards a $10 million endowment to support the facility), which is the largest the foundation has ever given. Beacon Health Systems has contributed more than $16.5 million to the project, the highest amount of money from a single entity. Pledges from other large corporations in the county and from individuals total over $19 million. The goal is open the facility in 2019 completely debt free.

Find out more about the project or donate at

Pete McCown, President

Community Foundation of Elkhart County



Mark Dobson, President & CEO

Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County