GSW will not close pool, Blue Tide takes over - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

GSW will not close pool, Blue Tide takes over

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

An Americus swim team with a history of producing champions is celebrating after learning their pool will remain open.

It's on the campus of Georgia Southwestern and the University announced a couple of months ago it would close the facility to save money.

A cloud of uncertainty that once loomed over the Americus Blue Tide swim team is now lifted as Georgia Southwestern officials decided to lease the pool out to the swim team instead of closing it.

"We got a real sense that there's a large segment of the community that values the facility and that was nice to see," said Blue Tide head swim Coach Tim DeMott.

Parents of swimmers such as Curtis Evans say they were we're elated to hear news of the pool staying open after school officials said it would be closed because of budget cuts.

He said the pool's closure would have had a major impact in his daughter's life.

"To get into it like that and to hear news that it might close, it would have had an effect on her," said Evans.

"I can see a change in her physical demeanor with just her coming here and swimming four days a week," he continued.

After the initial announcement of the pool's closure, supporters donated nearly $25,000 to keep the pool open and school officials worked out a plan to do so.

"We're really happy that's going to work out because we know how important the pool is to the community and we're glad to see it stay open," said GSW University Relations Director Stephen Snyder.

Coach DeMott says he's grateful for all of the community's support because he knows what this pool means a lot to this area.

"When those opportunities disappear it has a profound effect, especially on a community of this size that has precious little to offer to begin with," said DeMott.

GSW officials will meet with the Board of Regents in November to make this deal official.

The Blue Tide will be responsible for maintenance and repairs.

Swim team officials say they will hold more classes and other events to help pay for operating costs that will be about $60,000 dollars a year.

 

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