Fort Lauderdale, Fla., mayor Dean Trantalis announced Friday that the city’s aquatic center will undergo a $27 million renovation.

Though the facility has fallen into disrepair in recent years, it was once used as a winter training space for U.S. Olympic swimmers and divers.

“I started swimming here in 1996,” Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte told "You have the beach right across the street. When I was growing up, there were snow cone stands over here, so if, like, I was able to win a race, I got a snow cone. I got to the beach, I had everything. This was, like, a beacon of where Olympians started."

The project will include the addition of new lighting, bleachers, concessions, landscaping and — hopefully — a 37-meter dive tower. "We are actually digging out one of the pools,” said Trantalis. “We are rebuilding some of these pools. It's not just renovating.”

Olympian and “fastest man in water” Caeleb Dressel paid a visit to Fort Lauderdale to mark the monumental occasion. “"To watch the future kind of grow, not only for Florida but, I mean, the International Swimming Hall of Fame and just the whole reboot of it, it is special to be part of that," he said.

The renovated aquatics center is expected to reopen its doors in 18 months.

Courtney Cameron is Editorial Assistant of Athletic Business.