Edwardsville’s Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center is back up following nearly three months off for HVAC fixes

EDWARDSVILLE – Area swimmers can be forgiven is they are seen smiling these days.

The CFAC is back.

The Chuck Fruit Aquatic center on the campus of Edwardsville High School is available for swimmers again following a nearly three-month shutdown because of HVAC-related repairs.

“We’re back up and running,” said Bob Rettle, director of swimming for Edwardsville Community Unit School District 7 and the head coach of the Metro East Titans Swim Club. “We’re good to go for now, but we have a few additional improvement projects planned for the summer.”

The CFAC was officially available for swimming on Tuesday

The CFAC, which opened in 2014, has been shut down to swimmers since Oct. 14 because of the HVAC issues. Activities in the building were cancelled, including swim meets for the Edwardsvile High girls swim team, as well as practice sessions and meets for the Metro East Stitans Swim club. Among the meets which had to be moved was the IHSA Girls Sectional Swim Meet in November, which was switched to Eisenhower Pool on the campus of Springfield Southeast High School. Chatham Glenwood High School served as the host team

EHS swam “home” meets at the O’Fallon YMCA, which included two dual meets against O’Fallon. The Tigers swimmers were able to practice at the Collinsville/Maryville YMCA pool, while the swimmers for the METS club practiced at the SIUE pool in the Vadalabene Center.

“We were able to get practices in,” Rettle said. “We’re very grateful to the Maryville YMCA and to SIUE for the use of their facilities.”

The Illinois High School Association girls swim season ended in November. The IHSA boys swim season is now under way and the Tigers will be able to host their own meets again, including the EHS Boys Swim for Hope Invitational Jan 21 and a dual meet against rival O’Fallon on Jan 26.

The CFAC will see its first competition this weekend when the Metro East Titans play host their own Martin Luther King Invitational, slated to run Friday through Sunday.

“We have five teams bringing swimmers in for the meet,” Rettle said. “We’ll have around 290 swimmers overalls in here.”

Besides METS, teams entered at this weekend’s meet include Parkway Swim Club of St. Louis, Rockwood Swim Club, Saluki Swim club of Carbondale and Bearsharktopus Aquatics Swim Club of Springfield.

“We’re definitely glad to be back,” Rettle said, “and we’re looking forward to hosting meets again.”

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