ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Major renovations are on the horizon for Albany's Olympic sized pool. The Boys & Girls Club Board is expected to pick a contractor to do the project in the coming weeks.
For several decades kids in Albany have been spending their summers in the pool, many of them learning to swim.
Officials feel a renovation would help the pool have an even larger impact on the Albany community.
"As a kid, I remember learning to swim. I remember the first day being afraid to get my head underwater," explained Boys & Girls Club CEO, Marvin Laster. "I remember by the end of the summer program I was diving off the board."
Laster said about 6,000 people used the pools on North Jefferson and the one at Thornton Park last swim season.
About 400 kids enrolled in the Learn to Swim Program.
"The whole thing about the Boys & Girls Club is we want to keep kids safe. We want to make sure they aren't going out unsupervised and have a place where they can go grow and thrive," explained Laster.
With more kids coming every summer, Laster wanted to give it a facelift and the city agreed.
Commissioners voted to give $650,000 worth of SPLOST funds to refurbish the pool, which was built in 1953.
"It has been painted a few times but hasn't seen a full makeover like we are proposing," said Laster. "We envision opportunities to have this entire community, especially for the city, to host local, state, regional and national swimming competitions here."
Proposals for the contracts are now being collected. Laster said the board will choose a contractor in the coming weeks.
The original pool will be open one last summer. The season starts on May 21.
Swim lessons will be in the mornings. Then from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., the pool is open to the public with only a 50 cent charge.
Laster does want to renovate more than just the pool at the North Jefferson location.
The concession stand was destroyed during January's storms.
Laster said the locker rooms could also use renovations.
That money will likely come from outside donations to the Boys & Girls Club.