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DiVentures breaks ground on future site

Moving to dedicated facility this summer
North Liberty Mayor Terry Donahue, DiVentures founder Dean Hollis, Estes Construction President Kent Pilcher and H Design Group Principal Rob Haik partake in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new DiVentures location Thursday, Jan. 3, in North Liberty. Located at 1895 W. Penn St., the facility is anticipated to open this summer. (photo by Cale Stelken)

NORTH LIBERTY– Water enthusiasts have something to look forward to this summer as DiVentures, the area’s premiere diving and aquatics center, gets a proper facility to best serve the community.

On the morning of Thursday, Jan 3, the North Liberty business celebrated its future home with a groundbreaking ceremony. Located at 1895 W. Penn St., the new facility will feature an expanded retail space and its own dedicated pool, and is anticipated for opening in June.

“This is going to be the nicest scuba and swim center in the United States, and that’s pretty cool to have that in North Liberty, Iowa,” DiVentures founder Dean Hollis told attendees. “Our facilities are all comprehensive, they’re all world class and they’re all custom designed for aquatics in the community.”

“You’ll find that they have a full commitment to North Liberty,” Mayor Terry Donahue said of DiVentures. “Businesses such as this prove the vitality and the growth of the community in providing a service that’s not offered anywhere else in the local area.”

Built to better serve

The Midwestern company opened its temporary third location two years ago on Ranshway Way/Highway 965, occupying a 1,000 square-foot store focused on scuba training, service, rental and travel. While DiVentures currently relies on community pools such as the North Liberty Aquatics Center, the new 8,5000 square-foot facility will have its own dedicated 20-yard pool. Featuring three lanes, the state-of-the-art, 88-degree pool will be 3 feet deep on the shallow end and 14 feet at its deepest, allowing additional scuba skills to be practiced.

The new pool will also allow DiVentures to provide the other half of its line of service in swim programming. The business will offer swim lessons for all ages, starting as early as 6 months old, as well as triathlon training, physical therapy, aquacise, and water Zumba. It will also host child-friendly programming like mermaid camp and “dive-in” movies, where kids play in the pool to a backdrop of aquatic-themed movies playing on the wall.

In addition, DiVentures will more than double its retail space, include a kitchenette and locker rooms and have two training rooms to have allow two classes in session simultaneously, whether they be a scuba class or a birthday party.

“Safety is our number one priority and fun is our number one goal,” Hollis said. “We have some of the best, most passionate, most knowledgeable people, most experienced people in the world as it relates to anything aquatics.”

Scuba, swim, travel

Founded in 2009, DiVentures is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing scuba and swim center, with six locations throughout the Midwest.

The company offers training and equipment to scuba and aqua rangers, including the Johnson County Water Rescue Team. In addition to providing swimming lessons to over 3,400 children and adults, and certifying over 1,900 people in scuba, the business coordinates over 40 dive trips a year.

“We do everything from local Midwestern trips to very exotic,” noted Retail Program Director JoAnn Haack, who recently returned from a dive trip to Cuba. The Galápagos Islands and Australia are just a few of the destinations planned for 2019.

“I know people who scuba dive as young as 8, and I know people who scuba dive into their hundreds,” Haack said. “We want you to walk in and feel like this is the kind of space that develops a lifelong passion. We want to be the kind of space that encourages that for all ages.”

Having established itself with a humble strip mall shop, the company is eager to offer its full potential to North Liberty come summer.

“We’ve been proud to serve the North Liberty community for the last two years, but this new aquatics center will offer greater opportunities for residents to dive into swimming, scuba and travel in a big way,” added Haack. “This shows our commitment to serving the needs of the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Corridor and represents a significant investment in a thriving and growing local economy. It’s a great way to kick off 2019.”

“We are incredibly obsessed and passionate about building relationships with our customers,” Hollis insisted. “So whether you’re a mom looking to teach their kids how to swim, or you’re somebody that wants to learn to dive or somebody that wants to travel, this is going to be the home for you.”