Fitchburg is home to just one outdoor community pool — though a local health club is about to change that.

Pinnacle Health and Fitness (5973 Executive Dr.) is adding an outdoor swim complex anticipated to open later this summer. The expansion project broke ground May 9 and promises to provide a more family-oriented space and “full fitness recreational experience,” Pinnacle owner and president Mike McMahon told the Star.

The “L” shaped pool will feature a vertical 25-yard section for swimming laps and a shallow horizontal swim area lined with underwater benches for parents to watch their children.

It will be a “perfect opportunity for the family to come together and spend some time together and yet still have space for our members who want to swim laps in the summer months,” he said.

Lounge chairs and umbrellas will adorn the pool’s walkways, while the expansion will add two family change rooms and an accessible bathroom in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The changes will supplement the club’s indoor aquatic center, which already features a 25-yard lap pool and a 94-degree exercise pool.

McMahon said the outdoor pool is being added to “attract a younger family,” which is a new twist for the center.

“When we added the indoor pools in 2004, the whole program there was all about serving this burgeoning senior market that was about to explode and they loved exercise in water and they prefer warm water,” he said.

A membership at Pinnacle is a “full fitness recreational experience,” McMahon said, with the outdoor pool helping to round out “the warm months of the year.”

McMahon joined his first health club when he was 16 and after a short stint in the insurance industry, his interest in fitness lead him to a management role with Century Nautilus Gym in Hamilton, Ontario. He eventually returned to the United States to work for Market Square Fitness Center in Madison.

“We turned them around to profitable businesses and after the second one, I decided if I can turn around a business, I can start a business,” McMahon said. “And so I started from scratch. We wrote the business plan, acquired investors, got a bank willing to loan us the money.”

When McMahon opened Pinnacle in 1997, the building was 16,000 square feet, before subsequent expansions in 2001 and 2004 increased its size. Along with its aquatic center, Pinnacle’s now-36,000 square foot complex is filled with weight training and cardio equipment, rooms for group exercise classes and space for personal and group training programs.

“We’ve got some square footage in the building that is currently going unused and we are trying to determine how we would potentially use that,” McMahon said. “We were throwing around a number of ideas, none of which we’ve settled on yet but there’ll be space for some additional features.”

Pinnacle also added a second location on Capitol Square, 44 E. Mifflin St., in 2007, after surveying club members about potential expansion sites.

“We found out that a lot of them would use the downtown club versus the other location that we were looking at and so it just worked out perfect,” McMahon said

A premier membership at Pinnacle also brings access to partner businesses Prairie Athletic Club in Sun Prairie and Harbor Athletic Club in Middleton.

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at