New Griggs Center pool opens

Published 9:30 am Saturday, June 29, 2024

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It was years in the making but it was worth the wait.

A ribbon cutting was held for the grand opening of the new Don Weatherington Aquatics Center at the William J. Griggs Center on Thursday morning.

The new aquatics center is the culmination of the second phase of renovations at the Griggs Center which all started thanks to a letter written by University of Virginia Athletics Director Carla Williams to the Callaway Foundation on how much the center meant to her and the community growing up.

“That began the wheel moving about the idea of trying to come up with a renovation plan for the Griggs Center. I’ll be honest with you, we didn’t have the funds and didn’t know where they were coming from when we first started out. But today, because of her efforts, I like to say that she put a 50-cent stamp on the letter and she created about $11 million of investment in this community,” said Troup County Commission Chairman Patrick Crews.

The aquatics center and pool ended up costing around $5 million, which was paid for using $1 million from the Callaway Foundation, $1.5 in SPLOST funds, $300.000 from the City of LaGrange and $2.2 million from the Governor’s Office.

The new pool has something for everyone. A zero-entry section with splash features and a max depth of 1 foot is perfect for toddlers. Another 3-foot deep section will be used to teach swim lessons to kids. There is also a 6-foot deep end for more advanced swimmers and of course, the water slide, which is sure to be a hit.

“One of the reasons it was important is we had nowhere in the community to take swimming lessons to our children. It was a top priority to get a pool that was three feet or less so that we could teach swimming lessons for families,” Crews said.

Troup Parks and Recreation is currently registering for swim classes that are set to start in July.

“Learning to swim at a young age can absolutely save somebody’s life,” Callaway Foundation President Tripp Penn said. “Every child should have the chance to learn how to swim and it’s my hope that one day every single young person in Troup County will have the chance to take swimming lessons here and learn to swim. I can tell you again our trustees were really excited to be part of this project.”