Two years ago, when the Boys and Girls Club closed their East Albany facility, the organization told citizens they would reopen one day in that part of town.
But with the financial backing of the city, a pool and splash park will open in time for summer, along with a renovated gym.
City leaders broke ground Wednesday on the new Thornton Recreation Facility and Splash Park.
It's a $1.2 million promise by the city to complete the pool, along with the $500,000 Thornton Gym Renovation.
"I think it will bring less trouble and more peace to the community," said resident Sharaski Shealey.
He grew up in East Albany. His father is a well-known retired coach, and he lives down the street from the pool.
"I think it is a great idea for the kids in the community because growing up we didn't have much but the gym," said Shealey.
Even Marvin Laster, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club, has taken a personal interest in bringing his organization back to a community he loves. He said the development is a point of pride.
"We want the community to own this, this is your Boys and Girls Club," said Laster.
The pool will be state-of-the-art, with zero entry, lap lanes, a splash pad, and a children's water feature.
It is scheduled to open in May.
The former East Albany location still sits unused.
Even though the abandoned building is in Commissioner Bobby Coleman's Ward, he is all for the new pool and updated gym, no matter where it's located in East Albany.
"It's not good only for East Albany, its good for the city of Albany and the kids in Albany," Coleman said. "It's a good deal."
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