New Aquatics Center at St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center.

For over 50 years, St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC) has helped people with developmental disabilities, their families and communities, discover, explore and nurture potential – giving thousands a chance to live life to the fullest. The Center truly provides a “Life Program” that allows students to learn, grow and enjoy friendships and social activities throughout their lives. Students come to SMSC’s five-acre campus in the foothills of El Cajon daily to learn or upgrade marketable skills, develop creative outlets, earn a paycheck, make new friends and gain self-esteem and a sense of independence.

As a Life Program for over 400+ students, St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center regularly updates its programs and facilities to stay relevant and responsive to the needs of the adults it serves and to remain engaged with the greater San Diego community. Physical health and well-being is an area of focus in which SMSC has been able to support the greater community by opening up its pool and locker room facilities to the public.

The original St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center’s Aquatics Center and Locker Room facilities were built in 1987 and designed to accommodate 100 recreational swimmers. Today, about half of the 400+ students stay healthy and strong by swimming. The 100,000-gallon pool is the only one in East County with a wheelchair ramp, ADA-approved stairs and a chair lift.

The greater San Diego Community utilizes the facility for Special Olympics events, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis exercise groups. The pool also serves 130 additional community individuals with and without disabilities via public swim lessons and recreational use. In total, the pool now serves five times the number originally intended!

On October 15, 2016 SMSC celebrated the new Aquatics Center ground breaking with key donors and capital campaign financial supporters. The Center is scheduled to be completed in June 2017. The new Locker Room facility will be two stories and built in the footprint of the old building. The existing pool deck will be replaced, and new pool equipment will also be installed.

The new accessible facility will feature space to accommodate a far greater number of swimmers, increased square footage in the locker room, triple the number of changing and toilet stalls and triple the amount of locker space. With the renovation complete, even more SMSC students and community members will be able to take advantage of the Aquatics Center.

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