Staff Report

The Santa Ynez Valley Community Aquatics Foundation has received an anonymous matching grant of $250,000 to help ensure the Foundation achieves its Spring 2018 capital campaign goal of $525,000. The generous donation means construction of the new community complex stays on schedule and on budget.

“We are very excited and so grateful to receive this $250,000 matching grant from an anonymous local donor. This generous act will make it possible for us to reach our first benchmark of the 2018-19 Capital Campaign,” reported Gary Hall, Jr., 10-time Olympic swimming medalist and Co-Chair of the 2018 Capital Campaign for the future Santa Ynez Valley Aquatics and Sports Science Complex.

“This donation, from a long-time Valley resident, clears the way for several other major donors who have pledged support to jump in and donate now to help ensure we fully maximize the matching grant opportunity,” continued Hall.

“The $250,000 matching grant is a major step in moving this community complex from an award-winning design into a reality,” added Kami Craig, 2016 and 2012 women’s water polo Olympic gold medalist, Santa Ynez native and Co-Chair of the Capital Campaign. “Donors know they are giving to what will be a cornerstone project to serve our entire community.”

The donor of the $250,000 grant is a long-time Santa Ynez Valley resident with family who has benefited from the Valley’s local recreation and fitness facilities and programs over the years.

Momentum is building for the innovative $11.2 million complex scheduled to open in 2019. A recent, prestigious capital grant of $75,000 from the LA84 Foundation, combined with a flurry of individual donations and local foundation grants at the beginning of this year has kickstarted the 2018-19 Capital Campaign.

The two-acre SYV Aquatics and Sports Science Complex will replace the nearly unusable 53-year old pool on the Santa Ynez High School campus.

In addition to an Olympic-sized 50-meter competitive pool, other features will include a 25-yard warm water therapy pool, changing rooms/storage/lockers, sports medicine/science building, family play area and an “In Memory of Those Who Serve” grand entry plaza.

To ensure robust future programming that supports affordable, accessible year-round programs and activities for all Valley residents, the Foundation has forged innovative partnerships with the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District, the American College of Sports Medicine, The Aspen Institute, National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute, and Sansum Diabetes Research Institute. The Foundation also works closely with the Parks división of Buellton and Solvang, along with the County of Santa Barbara Parks Division.

During the off-season, the new aquatics complex is projected to contribute more than $5 million annually in new revenue to Santa Ynez Valley’s economy, primarily as a potential sports tourism destination site.

The nonprofit, SYV Aquatics Foundation is dedicated to fundraising and providing ongoing community programming and support for the state-of-the-art Aquatics and Sports Science Complex. For more information:, #syvaquatics or email