The William J. Griggs Recreation Center in Troup County, Georgia, offers citizens of all ages in the community several different options of fitness and recreation amenities, including the community pool.
Recently, there has been community discussion and outrage about the pool possibly being removed and not replaced.
According to Commissioner for District 5 Jimmy D. McCammey Jr., “I wouldn’t say it is in jeopardy of being removed and not replaced. Certainly it is not in Phase I, it has not been placed in Phase II. I have been in my position for 90 days and a lot of the decisions were made a year ago.”
Although there is community-wide disapproval of the removal of the pool, city officials are deciding whether to add the pool to phase II, but have not clarified what they plan to do with the pool.
“I do feel the sentiment of the community concerned about the pool not being a project or staple in our community. I do believe that the county has made a commitment to put it in Phase II. Provided that I am there two years from now when Phase II is up for operation; I will be able to voice that concern and make sure that happens,” said McCamey.
There are three phases for the William J. Griggs Recreation Center. Regarding the first phase, the city plans to focus on indoor cosmetic renovations to the facility.
“Which gives a much more improved vision in terms of what it looks like. It adds a basketball court , it adds areas in which they will have after school programs and a media center. So those were the particular areas that are a big concern to the citizens.”
Despite the plans for the renovations including phase I, city officials recently decided to focus on phase II instead.
“It was a board of local citizens and employees that are actually part of the committee that worked about a year on the plans and they decided that the pool would be in phase II rather than phase I. So that’s kind of where we are now. So phase II would bring in the pool and in addition to additional parking on the backside of the recreational center,” said McCammey.
Similar to phase I, phase III will include making more cosmetic renovations, but will focus on outdoor reconstruction of the recreation center.
“Phase III is not a whole lot of work left in phase III. More or less it would be landscaping and overall beautifying the campus in phase III,” said McCamey.
Residents claim the pool is crucial to the community. Locals argue it is imperative the pool is not removed because it serves as the sole aquatic attraction, offering free swimming to residents
According to McCamey, the project lacks funding, hindering the city’s ability to start renovations.
“Well I think what we are seeing is that we do have a lack of funding in terms of that particular project in our community,” said McCammey. “A lot of the features that were cut was because the cost of material so we are using different materials and the layout and plans are exactly the same.”
McCammey encourages locals to help with the decision-making process regarding the reconstruction of the pool and renovations to the recreation center.
“I think there could be a number of things the community could do . For phase II we need to have more community input and the initial committee has already stopped meeting and maybe we can revitalize that particular committee and start over with a new group of people and maybe some old members as well and merge and look at what phase II is going to look like,” said McCammey.
“We have a lot of talented people in the community, a lot of retired educators, retired business people that could possibly look at some additional grants and additional fundraising that we could do in our community and not have to rely solely on the government. So those are some of the things I think that we could do.”