Families fight to save historic Oklahoma aquatic facility

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City Community College has announced that it is closing  its aquatic center in August.

It's been a hub for local and national swim meets and swim lessons since it opened for the 1989 Olympic Festival.

No one argues that the pool is a popular place,  but keeping it afloat financially is now a critical problem.

"The aquatic center was losing money year after year, by $300,000 to $400,000 per year," said Cordell Jordan,  OCCC marketing director.

According to Jordan,  the aquatic center is draining the school's revenue.

"We're hurting the entire mission of the college by keeping this facility open," Jordan said.

To keep education a priority, he said they had no other choice but to close.

However, it's a bitter pill to swallow for Sue Forbat and her family.

"One of our coaches teaches kids with autism how to swim and yes, if people have to travel further and they can't manage that, then they might not be able to access that opportunity," Forbat said.

Forbat's son,  Luke, has autism.

She says OCCC is where he learned to swim and it's transformed his life.

"It has definitely helped his focus overall. Just having that structured team practice, as well as having the confidence of the success he's had in the water, has enabled him to learn better," Forbat said.

"It's not our goal or our desire to have a swim team to stop competing or training. It's unfortunate that we can't support them in this one," Jordan said.

Families are still holding out hope and the Facebook page dedicated to saving the center claims donors have stepped forward with the money to save it.

So far, no one is providing confirmation or details.

Right now, there is a petition to save the center available online, click here if you would like to see it.

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