Boys & Girls Club of Albany tearing down storm damaged building

Boys & Girls Club of Albany tearing down storm damaged building
This concession stand was damaged from storms in 2017, and hasn't been used in decades. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Boys & Girls Club in Albany is demolishing an unsafe and unsightly concession stand on its property. It was damaged by storms in 2017.

Tearing it down is part of plans to renovate its pool area. The pool is Olympic size. It takes about three days to fill up. CEO Marvin Laster spoke to WALB News 10′s Gabrielle Ware about his vision to put the swim center on the map.

The Boys & Girls Club is within the historic district of Tift Park. The concession stand sits in a fenced area across from its pool.

This concession stand was damaged from storms in 2017, and hasn't been used in decades.
This concession stand was damaged from storms in 2017, and hasn't been used in decades. (Source: WALB)

They’re getting rid of it after receiving permission from the Historic Preservation Committee.

“We looked into renovating it and possibly refurbishing it but it just became too prohibitive to do that. We’re talking 300 to a half a million dollars to refurbish a concession stand building that within its lifetime would not bring forth the return,” said Marvin Laster, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Albany.

He said they want to be good stewards of their funds.

The future demolition is part of ongoing renovations to make the center a stand-out location in Tift Park. Laster said this area is taking off.

Boys & Girls Club of Albany CEO, Marvin Laster.
Boys & Girls Club of Albany CEO, Marvin Laster. (Source: WALB)

“Now we have the trails into Tift Park, which is a shot in the arm for Tift Park. If we’re able to completely renovate the pool and the locker rooms. That project is going on now, and the county commission is voting Monday to put a tennis center with a full pro shop adjacent to this property,” he said.

Once renovations are complete, the club will begin the process of having the site certified to host sanctioned swim meets including with USA Swim.

“Can you imagine this area of Tift Park having a complete swim center where we can host state, local, regional, national events, as well as a tennis center where we can do the exact same thing? And with a world-class biking and walking trail? Tift Park is prime,” Laster said.

He said the Moss Farms Diving Center is Moultrie is a good format to follow.

They’ve produced Olympic divers. Every year, they have this diving competition and it’s a big economic driver for them so why can’t we do that here?”

Renovations are expected to be complete by June 15.

Copyright 2021 WALB. All rights reserved.