TIFTON -- Three Tiftarea YMCA pools being built on 18 acres of land at Carpenter and Westover roads should be full of water and ready for swimmers by July 1.

"They are in the process of pouring and getting the pools ready," Executive Director Kevin Angell said Wednesday. "Weather permitting and we don't have any problems, we should be open by July 1."

The Family Aquatics Center will include a kiddie play pool with special water features, a slide and plunge pool complete with a 90-foot slide and a large competition pool with two or three lanes designated for lap swimming, swimming lessons and aqua-aerobics.

Angell said each pool can be physically separated from the others.

"That way, those who want to rent one of the pools can be kept separate from YMCA members," Angell said.

The slide and plunge pool and slide requires more than the usual piping and filtration. According to Angell, one corner of the the competition pool will be shallow enough for swimming lessons and aqua-aerobics. The kiddie pool will hold six to eight children at one time.

"We put a little extra money into this (the pools) because we looked at the whole picture," Angell said. "There is something for all ages."

Angell said parents can see all three pools from any location.

"Parents can keep their eyes on all three age groups without worrying," Angell said.

A multi-purpose sports building that will become the permanent home for the YMCA's in line hockey program, pickup basketball and volleyball games and summer day camp, will be completed by the time the pools open.

Angell described the building as an "open airnasium."

"We will have the roof and lights, but no walls," Angell said. "We hope to enclose it in two years or less."

Three Board of Education-donated modular buildings will soon be moved to the building site. Once the buildings are in place in late August or early September, memberships fees will change from annual to monthly.

"The fees will be very nominal because we haven't finished all the parts of the facility," Angell said. "Once we go to a monthly membership rate, every member will be entitled to use every facility we operate."

Non-YMCA members can participate in offerings such as swimming lessons, youth sports and day camps by paying a registration fee. YMCA members get a cost break on programs that require a registration fee.

Tiftarea YMCA's office is currently located at 100 N. Central Ave. Once the modular buildings are moved and set up at the facility's site, the office's address will be 1823 Westover Road.

The second phase of YMCA fund raising began March 25, the same day of a ground breaking ceremony at the site. Volunteers continue to solicit the next $1 million.

"We are at 40 percent of our goal," Angell said.

Most contributions have come from area citizens and business owners.

"It has been a labor of love by the volunteers," Angell said. "The reason we are at 40 percent is because the community sees the need for the YMCA for them, their children and their grandchildren. We hope to be around for a long time."

Anyone wishing to donate toward the fund can call Angell at 391-9622 or anyone on the YMCA.



To contact reporter Angie Thompson, call 382-4321, ext. 208.

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