INDIANAPOLIS — USA Diving announced Friday that it has entered a strategic partnership with Indian River State College and will open offices in Fort Pierce, Florida later this year.
The Indianapolis-based national governing body for diving in the United States clarified what the announcement means for Indianapolis. "We will continue to keep our office space here in Indy and our operational headquarters will remain in Indy," USA Diving told 13News.
The two partners posted the joint announcement on their websites, outlining plans to develop new facilities and resources to develop athletes and coaches and grow the sport.
USA Diving and the school plan to raise funds to build "a world-class, international diving facility on the Indian River State College Fort Pierce campus."
Plans also include a Coach Development Center that will serve as USA Diving's main training center for the sport's coaches, divers and judges. That center is envisioned as a state-of-the-art training facility.
"Partnering with Indian River State College advances our purpose meaningfully and significantly," said USA Diving President Lee Michaud in the statement. "IRSC has a storied swimming and diving franchise and an unrivaled commitment to developing student-athletes in the sport."
Michaud is currently based in Indianapolis, but will split time between Indiana the new Florida center once it opens, according to USA Diving spokesperson Kelly Fox.
IRSC holds the longest unbroken U.S. championship-winning streak in any sport at the collegiate level with 47 consecutive National Junior College Athletic Association Men's Swimming and Diving titles and 39 consecutive NJCAA Women's Swimming and Diving titles (43 overall women's titles).
IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore said, "The project has enormous upsides for our students and employees and direct economic impact for the communities that we serve. We look forward to hosting international competitions on our campuses, providing a path to the Olympics for our student-athletes, collaborating on the development of an educational platform for USAD coaches and judges, and attracting new audiences to the sport of diving."
USA Diving is currently hosting its Olympic Trials at the IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI. The relationship between the Indiana Sports Corporation, which bids to host major events in the city, the Natatorium and USA Diving is not expected to change once the new Florida facility is built, according to Fox.
USA Diving currently operates its Indiana offices on Fall Creek Road near Geist Reservoir, and expects to open its new IRSC office this fall with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on campus. The Indianapolis office will remain open and its two staff members who work there are not expected to relocate.
In addition to Indianapolis, the organization's full-time staff of seven people is housed in offices in Colorado Springs and two training centers in other locations.