As of next week, Michael Phelps and his longtime coach, Bob Bowman, will no longer hold a lease on Meadowbrook Aquatic and Fitness Center, the Mount Washington facility where Phelps developed into the greatest swimmer in the world.
Phelps and Bowman moved to Arizona almost two years ago, after Bowman accepted a job as head swimming coach at Arizona State. They have not had a direct hand in day-to-day operations at Meadowbrook since.
The Michael Phelps Swim School at Meadowbrook will also cease operating after its winter season ends May 26, according to a news release emailed by the club Wednesday morning. The club's founder, Murray Stephens, and his wife, Patty, will operate Meadowbrook as of Monday, and the club's staff will handle teaching programs going forward, the release said.
Murray and Patty Stephens have served as landlords for Meadowbrook since they began leasing it to Bowman and Phelps in 2008.
"With Michael and Bob out of the picture geographically, it makes sense for them to turn it back over to Murray and Patty," said John Cadigan, the facility's longtime general manager. "It won't really have any impact at all on operations. The programs here will continue."
Those programs include the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, the elite training program that has produced a long list of U.S. national team members.
Even the swim school, Cadigan said, will continue with the same approach, though it won't carry Phelps' name.
Phelps joined the club when he was 6, and both Murray and Patty Stephens worked with him when he was a young swimmer, before Bowman became his primary coach. He prepared for the 2000, 2004 and 2012 Olympics at the club and also began his comeback, which culminated with the 2016 Olympics, at Meadowbrook.
Phelps' efforts to build the sport will take a slightly different direction, according to a release from Aquatic Ventures LLC, the company he and Bowman started: "Now that Michael is retired, Michael Phelps Swimming will concentrate its focus on the promotion of the sport — and activity — of swimming, and the importance of water safety. The experience and knowledge gained from operating the swim school at Meadowbrook, and from working with so many talented people over the years, will most certainly be of great value to these efforts."