BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) — A Beavercreek swim school that shuttered its doors when it was heavily damaged in the Memorial Day tornadoes is now back open for business.
Aqua-Tots held a ribbon cutting Monday morning.
The swim school opened May 1, 2017. But after a little more than two years of being open, it was forced to close. It was one of several businesses in a shopping center off of North Fairfield Road that sustained significant damage in the tornado outbreak.
“Making our way through trees. Big mess. Parked across the street. Walked over here. Got to see. It was pretty devastating destruction here,” described Aqua-Tots owner Paul Sinopoli.
Contractors estimated repairs would take three to six months. After four months, a grant, and help from the city, the swim school reopened.
“It is definitely a key piece for our community in being able to provide those kids to swim. It’s a huge safety piece in our area,” says Amanda Byers, President & CEO for the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce. “When you walk inside it doesn’t look like anything changed.”
“This is one of those great examples of another business reopening and calling Beavercreek home,” states Beavercreek Mayor Bob Stone. “I grew up here so I’m always proud of this community, but now I’m proud of the people, the owners of the businesses here in this community.”
While the school lost about half of its swimmers, the business retained about 90% of its staffing. The school is now ready to re-welcome customers and bring in new swimmers.
“Just a matter of getting these kids back in here and getting back to doing what we do best,” says Sinopoli.
The learn-to-swim business works with children as young a four months, in addition to working with adults.