SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Thanks to state funding secured by New York State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, the Capital Region Aquatic Center (CRAC) is $2.5 million closer to breaking ground on its planned 80,000-square-foot facility. With a proposed location at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady, the aquatic center will be the first premier facility of its kind in the Northeast.

“Securing this funding was an important step that brings us one step closer to making this transformational project a reality,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “This state-of-the-art aquatic events center has the potential to bring thousands of new visitors to the hotels and restaurants throughout the Schenectady area, boosting our local economy to new levels. This will be a one-of-a-kind facility in the Northeast and increases Schenectady’s hosting capacity for high level aquatic competitions of all types and levels,” Santabarbara added. “The project is a win for our community and to those it will serve; youth, veterans, disabled and those in need of physical rehabilitation, in addition to new educational and job opportunities for local students through courses in advanced lifesaving skills, sports facility management and lifeguard training; as well as training for first responders in water and deep-water rescues.”

We are marking ten years since this idea first made waves among parents in our community and the tremendous support from families, athletes, educators, elected officials, business owners and water safety advocates continues to pour in,” said Kara Haraden, president, Capital Region Aquatic Center. “Not only will the Aquatic Center fill a critical need in our region with learn to swim programs for people of all ages and abilities, but it will also provide an ideal venue for an array of recreational and competitive water sport events and be a vital economic engine benefitting the city, the county and the greater Capital District.” “It is time to bring this project to fruition so we may enjoy it for generations to come,” added Haraden. “Let’s make a splash together.”

“We are thrilled to see another incredible project make progress along Schenectady’s revitalized waterfront,” said Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy. “On behalf of the City of Schenectady, I would like to thank Assemblyman Santabarbara for his leadership that has continued to deliver critical economic development funding to strengthen our community.”

Schenectady County Legislator Richard Ruzzo who has been a vocal supporter of the project, said, “The aquatics center will allow for a significant number of local upcomers to train and compete at the highest level. This project not only provides access to those who have never had it before but it will provide potentially life-saving skillsets to every student who attends the Learn to Swim Program” 

 “We are grateful to Assemblyman Santabarbara for his efforts to bring a community aquatic center to Schenectady.  A center such as this will increase community accessibility to water safety education, including swimming lessons for young children, and encourages active and healthy lifestyles.  Family friendly environments, such as a community aquatic center, also have the opportunity to provide creative programming and serve as a social hub for children and adults.  They have the potential to build and strengthen a community,” said Anibal Soler, Jr., Superintendent of the Schenectady City School District.

The Aquatic Center is projected to bring millions of dollars to the area by drawing more than one hundred thousand athletes and spectators each year.

To learn more about the Aquatic Center, head to To support the capital campaign, donate today.

About the Capital Region Aquatic Center: The Capital Region Aquatic Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is an 80,000-square-foot, multi-pool, aquatic complex to be built in Schenectady’s Mohawk Harbor. The world-class swim center was founded to fill a long-term need for year-round aquatic services that address the health, wellness, recreation, safety, competition and training needs of the local residents, communities and organizations. To learn more, please visit


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