KINGSPORT, Tenn. - After almost 40 years it's out with the old and in with the new in Kingsport at the new aquatic center.
We've been keeping a close eye on construction and Thursday we caught up with officials to learn everything is on track to open in mid-May.
Are you counting down the days until you can swim at the new Kingsport aquatic center? Well it won't be long now, we got a sneak peak inside and crews are working both inside and out on the finishing touches. "This is putting in concrete decks, curbing, the landscaping, the fencing, those kind of things you do traditionally before you wrap the project up," said assistant city manager Chris McCart.
McCart says the differences between the new aquatic center and Legion Pool are night and day. Accessibility to all ages and abilities is one of the biggest improvements.
But some residents say this move is simply too risky. "I think safety is a bigger issue, because you've got all these kids that are going to have to either walk or ride a bike out on the dangerous roads to get to it," said resident Michael Logan.
But there's a big difference in how much it's going to cost you to visit. At Legion Pool it cost just $2 to swim if you were 12 years old and over. But at the new center it's going to cost youth and seniors $6 and an adult $8.
Here's how McCart says the city determined base rates. "We did a lot of research looking at rates in the area as well as what rates are at comparable facilities outside of the Tri-Cities and we feel like we've put a package together that is going to be affordable," McCart said.
Some residents say a positive change in the community is worth paying a few more bucks. "I am sad they're closing an icon but I think those things have to happen in order for progress to happen as well," said resident Paige Kramer.
We've also learned Legion Pool will be eventually demolished, but first items with historical value will be taken out and moved to the aquatic center.
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