rendering of the fort lauderdale aquatic center and 27 meter dive tower

High Dive

The tallest diving platform in the western hemisphere soon will stand in Fort Lauderdale.

Experienced divers will be able to plunge the equivalent of nearly eight stories from the 27-meter tower at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.

The rest of us will be able to climb to the top and contemplate it — without jumping.

With five more pieces to go, the tower will be finished July 1, said Laura Voet, manager of the aquatic complex. The diving tower will be the first permanent structure of its kind in the western hemisphere and the second in the world, Voet said. The other is in Zhaoqing, China. It is designed to survive 146 mph winds, comparable to a Category 4 hurricane, she said.

fort lauderdale aquatic center dive tower installation
The platform at the 27-meter level of a newly-installed diving tower is lifted by crane at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex on Thursday, June 17, 2021. The high diving tower, which is the first of it's kind in the western hemisphere and only the second in the world, will have the crowning piece installed on July 1. (Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

“There’s a lot of excitement in the diving community,” Voet said. “They just think it’s awesome.”

Though the 27-meter platform will be available only to more experienced divers, community members will have the opportunity to dive off the shorter platforms and climb the tower’s 162 steps to the top, Voet said.

She said the complex will offer tours to the top of the tower.

Voet anticipates the diving tower will bring more swimming events to the area. People have already called to plan annual events at the center, which has been closed for renovation since April 2019 and plans to reopen next fall.

The platform, coincidentally, was set in place on the birthday of Fort Lauderdale High Diving World Champion Steven LoBue, Voet said.
LoBue was the first American to win a gold medal in the men’s 27-meter dive.

“It’s exciting for Fort Lauderdale,” Voet said. “It’s another first.”

Learn more about the project at fortlauderdale.gov 

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Originally published in the Sun-Sentinel
Photo Credit: Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel)
Artist Rendering courtesy of the City of Fort Lauderdale

 


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