By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
At the August 29 Gadsden City Council meeting, council members announced that the Sixth Street Pool will reopen on Saturday, September 2.
YMCA Director Leroy Falcon said that because school is now in session, the pool will only be open on the weekends. It will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m and on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
The pool will also be open for Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 4, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The Sixth Street Pool was closed for renovations, which included a new pool house and the pool itself was painted and repaired.
“That facility was starting to show its age,” said Falcon.
Falcon said that the pool goes “way back” and estimated its age as older than 20 years. Councilman Thomas Worthy estimated the pool’s age as “well over 70 years.”
Worthy said that he remembers swimming in the pool when he was a child.
According to Falcon, Worthy worked hard to get the project completed this year. Worthy said that he worked so hard because the pool is in his district.
The city spent about $430,000 on the renovations. The pool will be dedicated to two longtime athletic coaches in Gadsden, Coach L.C. Presley and Coach George Baker.
Presley was the swim and football coach at Carver High School for many years. He also seved as an Etowah County Commissioner from 1987 until 1993.
Baker was Presley’s assistant coach from 1962 until 1970. He went on to be Emma Sansom High School’s head boys basketball coach. The Rebels claimed the state championship in 1992 under his leadership.
Falcon said that the YMCA has several renovations planned to begin soon.
“Just as the pool was showing some signs of age, so is our building,” said Falcon.
The YMCA board recently met to discuss renovations that are needed at the facility. the biggest renovation is redoing the gymnasium roof. Currently, the leaks in the roof are preventing the gym from hosting programs when it rains. The roof and gym floors will be replaced during September.
Falcon said that these renovations will open the gym up for new programs including youth basketball, soccer and volleyball, as well as the Men’s Adult Basketball League.
The YMCA’s indoor pool was recently drained and repaired. The YMCA is looking to add paddleboard fitness classes to the pool.
“These classes are growing in popularity,” said Falcon. “Recognizing the fact that we’ve got the only year-round aquatics program, we have decided to focus some of our efforts on programs that can’t necesarily be emulated in the community.”
Falcon said that members should keep an eye out for the paddleboard classes to show up on the class schedule soon.
The YMCA is also considering renovating its locker rooms. The YMCA hopes to redesign the area to meet the needs of local professionals that use their lunch hour for workouts, especially the ones in the downtown area where the YMCA facility is located.
The YMCA wants to provide these professionals with the means to “fix themselves back up” to return to work.
In October, the YMCA Nationwide Reciprocity Program will begin. Any member of a YMCA will be able to use any YMCA facility. The Coosa Valley YMCA has had a similar program in place with the Anniston YMCA for several years.