KINGSPORT, Tenn. - It's a brand new building that's great for hot, sunny days, but trying to find a parking spot at the Kingsport Aquatic Center can be difficult.
Some say finding an open parking spot at the Kingsport Aquatic Center is like gold. "They keep driving around and driving around, and you have to park all the way at the end of the road when you turn in. It's just not convenient," says aquatic center patron Heather Carver.
News 5 learned that's why some people come early just so they can get a spot closer. Mom of three Brandy Pitzer tells us, "It's easier to get here early and get a better parking spot. It makes it safer to hurry and get in with the children."
Pitzer tells us she's concerned about her children's safety when they have to park so far away. "Any one of them could jet from me very quickly. When people come through here too fast and they can't get around the cars, it makes it very difficult because they can't see very well," she explained.
Fortunately, parking woes at the aquatic center could soon become a thing of the past -- assistant director of the aquatic center Chase Singleton tells News 5 they're going to begin construction on a nearby field Monday to add more parking. "That'll expand our parking lot behind us. It'll give about 70 additional parking spaces," adds Singleton.
We learned when the project is complete there will be 400 parking spots for visitors and staff to use.
Singleton tells us the parking issue hasn't stopped people from coming to the new aquatic center. "Wherever they can find parking ,whether they walk, drive, or utilize their bikes, they're coming even with the parking issue," he said.
Singleton tells us this is a problem he doesn't mind having, because it means there are a lot of people coming out to enjoy the aquatic center.
We learned the additional parking will cost around $160,000. Singleton says it'll be paid by the City of Kingsport.
They expect the new parking lot to be complete in time for Fourth of July weekend.