A groundbreaking ceremony was recently held at the Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Community Center for the second phase addition.
The $6.7-million investment will add indoor amenities including a multi-purpose gym and additional community meeting rooms. Outdoor enhancements include more parking spaces, new sidewalks, solar panels, basketball court, rain garden, landscape improvements, lighting, and picnic tables. Perhaps most notable, and desired, will be a new neighborhood swimming pool with a toddler play zone, lounge deck, picnic area, restrooms, and changing rooms to ensure a truly multi-generational space.
The new pool is considered especially important to the Southside community. Following multiple consecutive years of significant repairs of the historic Walton Street Pool, a professional assessment found its infrastructure deficient, with major leaks and failing underground pipes. The investigation concluded repairs and renovations would no longer extend the useful life of the facility.
During 2016 Asheville Parks & Recreation rented space at the YWCA of Asheville to offer free swimming in the neighborhood since that time. The department also provides free transportation via ART buses to other city pools for neighborhood residents. However, neighborhood kids and families have requested a modern swimming pool with a larger deck area to accommodate more programming and fun activities with increased visibility at the heart of the neighborhood next to the Grant Southside Center.
Careful consideration was given to ensure the pool remains a space for residents of all ages from the surrounding neighborhoods. Its future opening will be well received.