TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — After 30 years at its location, a beloved Tampa Bay area swim school is searching for a new home, explaining increased rent is among the reasons for the relocation.
Generations of families have taken their kids to Seal Swim School.
“We’ve been coming as a family since 1995 to this location,” said Megan Delgado, whose daughter takes lessons.
Shannon Seal, the owner of Seal Swim School in North Pinellas, says for three decades, Seal Swim has called its location in Tarpon Springs home. She shared that her mom started Seal Swim School out of their backyard above ground pool in Tampa, and it’s since flourished into the fabric of the community.
The North Pinellas pool is at Total Fitness in Tarpon Springs, but now, Seal says they’re moving.
“Unfortunately for us, the fitness center was sold, and we were out of our lease contract, and it was not renewed, and the new owners have basically had exorbitant demands on us that we just cannot meet,” said Seal.
ABC Action News caught up with Seal as she and her team packed up. She explains the main reason for the relocation is increased rent.
“700 percent increase in rent,” said Seal. “It’s very tough for us. It’s just tough.”
ABC Action News reached out to Total Fitness for a statement or interview and was told no comment.
Families say they recognize swimming as an essential skill for their kids. More children drowned in Florida in 2021 than at any other time in the state’s history. Jessica Boucher’s daughter goes to Seal Swim.
“As a nurse, I know what it’s like to see near-drownings,” said Boucher. “I used to work in pediatrics, and it’s just the most terrifying thing you ever can see, and I wanted to do anything I could to prevent something like that from happening.”
The West Pasco location is still open. Seal says they’ve had a few leads on a new spot and are looking for more. Still, she’s certain they’ll soon dive right into something new.
“We will absolutely find a spot,” said Seal. “I have no doubt in my mind that we will find a new home.”