2017 was an awesome year for BSAC with new partnerships, a new pool, and vibrant programming. We have a strong administrative team that is getting better all the time. We completed the Ken Hagan Community Learn to Swim Pool through our partnership with Hillsborough County, and we have since increased our swim lesson and swim team membership. Another part of the project was to upgrade our current 50-meter pool, and to completely replace all of our behind-the-scenes equipment.
In addition, we have partnered with Hillsborough County Public Schools to operate five of their after-school care programs at Stowers, Kingswood and Lithia Springs Elementary Schools as well as Barrington and Mann Middle Schools. Our BSAC After-School Experience (BASE) program launched in August and continues to grow leaps and bounds.
As if those wins weren’t big enough, BSAC also partnered with Pepin Academies to house a special needs workforce transitional program five days a week. This innovative program brings two power house non-profits together to serve the special needs community at a higher level. We are producing employment training opportunities for students by utilizing areas at BSAC for programs such as automotive repair/detailing, child care, landscaping, pool maintenance and hospitality.
We have even more planned for the organization in 2018. To begin, BSAC’s pools will soon have new lighting for the pool deck and parking lot, and we will be resurfacing the parking lot as well. This project will create significantly more light during evening programming, and it will add more security lighting during our non-operational hours.
BSAC has also invested heavily in upgrading its camera and monitoring system. Families will see roughly 50 or so cameras installed throughout all areas of the property. This will allow us to better monitor and manage all the programs that take place here at BSAC no matter the location.
We are also very excited about a new partnership that is taking place between BSAC and Livingstone Academy. Soon, families will see some interior alterations of space so that this partnership’s programming can expand. Our VPK program will move into what is currently our academic room. The current VPK area will be transformed into two classrooms and an office, where Livingstone’s special needs high school will begin in August. This space will also be utilized for our after-school and summer camp programs.
Other projects we are working on over the next several months include areas for new fencing, classroom upgrades, new roofs, new doors, and locker room upgrades. Our hope is that we can continue to improve our facilities and have our families enjoy their BSAC experience that much more!
However, Facilities aren’t the only focus for us in 2018 as we have already added some programming opportunities as well. Competitive Aquatics Director, Rich Rogers, has started BSAC’s first water polo program, and the response has been tremendous. We are excited to offer alternatives to mainstream programming, and we know that water polo is a unique and fun sport for all.
We have also renewed our partnership with the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County and the Y for the innovative mobile swim lesson program. BSAC’s swim instructors and lifeguards provide swim lessons at various locations around the Greater Brandon and Tampa area. We believe that it is very important for every child to learn to swim.
Even with everything going on, we will continue to train and develop our leadership and staff teams to better serve you. We are constantly seeking feedback on how we’re doing, so please let us know about your experiences. We truly appreciate all of our program participants, volunteers, donors and sponsors that support us daily. Because of your efforts, we have impacted hundreds of more families this last year than in years past. We definitely could not have done it without YOU.