Poarch pool project progresses

Published 12:37 pm Thursday, July 28, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Phase two of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians' Wellness &Activities Center is in full gear.
Construction crews have been working to complete the pool at the Linda Gail Rolin Parker Activity Center over the past several weeks.
"It's going great," Poarch Wellness &Activity Director Rodney Exum said. "We're actually hoping to be completed within the next two and half months."
The pool is Olympic-sized and will include handicap access. Also included in the construction project is a concession area and shower facilities. Exum also said there will be a kiddie-pool construction as well.
Phase one of the project was completed a year and half ago, which included a pavilion with three classrooms, which are currently being used for Poarch's summer youth programs. Exum said the facilities would also be used for swimming lessons, lifeguard certification and senior activities once the pool is completed and opened to the public.
"We're going to have senior aerobics and swim meets, which will be a start of the activities that we'll be doing," Exum said. "We will be doing swimming lessons."
Exum said the Poarch community expressed the need for the pool.
"The community has been asking for other activities and facilities and this is one of many that I hope will be out in our community in the near future," he said. "It's something we're putting in for the community to give the kids other things to do other than sports. Some kids don't like playing ball, so this just gives them another activity."
The pool is partially covered by a pavilion. Exum said there is a possibility in the future that it will be enclosed.
"There's a possibility we may close it in later, but for right now it's just partially covered," he said.
Exum also noted that once the pool is opened that lifeguards will be on duty. He added having the pool will add to the many things the Poarch community has to offer its residents.
"Swimming is a sport, but it's not a football, baseball, basketball type sport," Exum said. "Hopefully we'll have some tribal members excel in swimming and earn a scholarship. It's another activity to keep the kids off the streets, another option to keep them out of trouble. It's not just for the youth; it's also for our elders as a wellness activity. I just hope that from youth to seniors and everybody in between will have the opportunity to enjoy the swimming pool. "
Exum also sees the pool adding to the local economy.
"It's another opportunity for more jobs for the community because I do look to hire on more staff," he said.
The Poarch community also received an addition last week, which will help keep its children active and safe.
Last Thursday, Ashford Recreation Group of Florence completed the construction of new playground equipment in the park next to the tennis courts to replace the aging equipment.
"The playground that we had was donated by a church around the 60's and since that time it's been a good playground, but our kids have outgrown it," Poarch activities coordinator Mitch Hughes said. "We decided to get another one that is a lot safer and more durable. It's made out of hard plastic instead of wood, which had splinters and other dangers."
The equipment was paid for through a Prevention Grant issued through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Program, which is designed for tribal youth.

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