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St. Augsutine destroys the Willie Galimore pool to build a new one

7:20 PM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Demolition of the swimming pool is underway at Willie Galimore Community Center in the Lincolnville neighborhood in St. Augustine.

Alanna Donley brought her kids to the park by the pool. She lives just down the street. She swam in the pools as a child.

"It was fun and interesting. It made for a good summer," Donley said.

Rachel Diamond also swam in the pool as a child.

"I remember taking swimming lessons here," she said. "It was a great summer thing to do!"

However, both of these moms welcome the pool's destruction.

For years, St. Johns County managed the pool inside St. Augustine's city limits. The pool became poorly maintained, and the health department even shut it down.

St. Augustine Director of General Services Jim Piggot said when the inter-local agreement ended a couple years ago, the county gave it back to city. The county also gave the city $400,000 to clean it up.

Piggot said the pool has been unusable for four or five years. Last year, the city decided to spend $300,000 to demolish the pool and build another one because it was more economical.

"I don't think people were using it as much as they could have, and so it was neglected. And now that people are saying, 'Hey this area matters' and 'We matter' and 'This is what we want,' we're getting a new pool!" Diamond said.  

The new swimming pool will be about the same size and will be open for the summers.

"I can't wait for my son to swim here!" Diamond said.

"It brings a sense of community to the area. People can gather here and there can be parties and stuff," Donley added.

The city expects to open the pool Memorial Day weekend. 

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