By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On Saturday, September 9, the Sixth Street Pool’s grand reopening welcomed the Sixth Street community, City of Gadsden officials, Coach George Baker and his family and the family of Coach L.C. Presley to see the pool’s new facilities.
Constance Bostick opened the event with a rendition of the National Anthem. Floyd Donald welcomed attendees to the event and spoke about the history of the pool.
The Sixth Street Pool opened in May of 1952. The pool has faced many difficulties in its time, but survived it all with the support of the community.
Reverend Keith Dudley of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church gave the invocation.
Councilwoman Cythia Toles spoke next, thanking everyone for coming out and thanking the city and Mayor Sherman Guyton for working together to complete the renovations at the pool.
“I was a part of the pool’s history,” said Toles. “L.B. Johnson, Joseph Butler and George Baker taught me swimming in this swimming pool.”
A representative from Presley’s family thanked the city for the honor. Coach Baker also thanked the city, as well as his family members.
Baker also talked about some of the pool’s history. While he was working as the pool’s manager, he had to acquire lifeguards for the pool.
Due to lack of money, Baker, after being certified, trained his own lifegaurds at no cost.
“Never did I have an idea that one day, the pool would obtain my name, and for that I’m thankful,” said Baker.
Baker thanked everyone for coming out, and told the community to keep the pool going.
Wayne C. Rowe, CEO of Quality of Life, presented a memorial plaque commemorating Coach Baker and Coach Presley for their accomplishments. The plaque will be hung in the pool house.
“We are just proud of the fact that two great men are being honored in terms of this facility being named for them,” said Rowe. “They have served our community over the years, with all of us as children growing up here, as well as throughout the Gadsden City area and Etowah County. Both were coaches at Carver High School. We wanted to do something special to recognize them.”
Rowe also thanked Baker for saving him when he almost drowned in the pool as a child.
Reverend Zachary Huff of Mount Zion Baptist Church of East Gadsden gave the benediction.
After the benediction, the Gadsden-Etowah Chamber held a ribbon cutting for the newly-renovated facilities.
After the ceremony, attendees were treated to food and lemonade. Bounce houses were set up for the children to play in. Many of the children present went swimming in the pool.