Other Important Aquatic Center Information
A Little History
The site of the current aquatic center is built on land originally purchased by the Orphan Home Society in 1900. A year later, the Sisters of St. Dominic, under the guidance of Sister Antonine Fischer, used a $100,000 loan to build the Nazareth Trade School on the Farmingdale site as an orphanage and school for children.
The sisters attended to the physical needs of the children and served as elementary school teachers in the early years of the orphanage. The laundry, kitchen, and bakery serviced 300 people daily, the Benedictine Fathers of St. Kilian’s Parish taught religious education at the school two times a week, and the children also learned trade skills like shoemaking, printing, farming, and draftsmanship.
In 1947, the premises were sold to the Farmingdale School District, which built what is now Weldon E. Howitt Middle School. The gym remained for decades and served as the hub of the district operations department. It stood next to the pool, which was renovated and in 1951 became the home of the Farmingdale Youth Council Swim Lesson Program for the next 50 years.