Meet the nonprofit trying to build the country’s deepest pool in North Chicago – WQAD Moline

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The nonprofit Diveheart is planning a 130-foot diving pool for those living with disabilities and veterans with PTSD.

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — The nonprofit Diveheart has launched a $300 million fundraising campaign to build and endow a three-pool adaptive scuba and scuba therapy facility in North Chicago. Part of the plans include the country’s deepest swimming pool. 

Divers will be able to descend 130 feet — roughly 12 stories — below the surface. It’s a controlled environment with heated water, allowing divers to escape the frigid temps and strong currents of the ocean. 

It’s being called the world’s “deepest warm water therapy pool” that will “stand as a beacon of innovation and exploration in underwater education and discovery.” While the world’s deepest recreational diving pool sits at 200 feet deep in Dubai, this is thought to be the deepest used for therapy. 

There will also be two other pools, including a “starter” pool similar to those found in high schools. Diveheart says the youth of Waukegan and North Chicago can use this pool to learn how to swim while scuba beginners can use it to practice the basics. 

A third “showcase” pool is also planned. It will be 20 feet deep and will sit above ground with see-through walls for visitors to look through, much like an aquarium. 

Founded in 2001, Diveheart teaches people with disabilities, those living in wheelchairs and veterans suffering from PTSD how to scuba dive. According to the nonprofit, adaptive scuba and scuba therapy helps build confidence and self-esteem while providing independence. 

Once the funding is secured, it will take at least two years for the therapeutic diving center to be built. 

Diveheart is also planning on setting up an endowment to provide scholarships to anyone who needs it. 

You can join Diveheart’s donation drive here

Diveheart Executive Director Tinamarie Hernandez joined The Current on News 8 to discuss the pool’s plans and what it could mean for the region. You can watch the full interview in the above video. 

Tune into The Current from 4 to 5 p.m. on weekdays to catch even more live interviews impacting you, your family and your hometown as well as all of the biggest headlines of the day. 

Watch more news, weather and sports on News 8’s YouTube channel

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