FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The new “Break The Barriers” Aquatic Center has opened in Fresno.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Thursday with the community invited and corporate sponsors honored and thanked for helping make the new aquatics center become a reality.

Among the many services offered, the aquatics center offers lap swimming and aqua aerobics. Classes are available for those six months old all the way up to senior citizens.

“I can’t stop smiling. This is amazing. Look at it, it’s more than we could have hoped or prayed for, it’s bigger than the prayers even. And the people it’s going to benefit is just going to be totally amazing,” says Deby Hergenrader, co-founder of Break the Barriers.

Break the Barriers is dedicated to accelerating awareness, understanding, acceptance, and inclusion in education for all people with various abilities, in a range of areas including fitness, competitive sports, physical conditioning, the performing arts, literacy, and free programs for Military Veterans.

“We are beyond excited. This has been years in the making, of course, COVID put a little wrench in our project and our campaign, but our community is amazing. We’re a gold mine of nonprofits and we’re just one of them where community members are stepping up and really supporting us,” says Jared Hergenrader, CEO of Break the Barrier.

Jared says that the aquatics center originally started out as a vision of having services year-round for water safety for kids on the spectrum with autism and also with veterans as the summertime was not long enough and it was too cold in the winter months to have their outdoor facility open.