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Okaloosa County: Destin YMCA To Get A Face Lift

Soon, the Destin YMCA pool will be getting a major upgrade. The Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation, which finalized a lease agreement in December with the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation to take over the run down YMCA pools in Destin starting Jan. 1, is getting the ball rolling in 2017 to begin major improvements to the facility. The Fitness Foundation is planning to transform the pools into a bustling aquatic hub for area swim teams, lifeguards and recreational swimmers, but to do that, they need two things: donations and volunteers. The goal is to rehab the property and have it back open by March 1st. The proposed cost is $200,000, which will go towards repair work for the pools, adding bleachers and seating, and purchasing a thermal pool cover. The Fitness Foundation is holding a volunteer work day on Saturday, January 21st, at 10 a.m. to help clean up the property. “We’d love to have groups come and work, youth groups from church, whoever, anybody, and we’ll also be taking donations during that time,” foundation Treasurer Kathi Heapy said. “There will be food trucks on the property, and we’re just going to clean up all of the dead weeds and trash and get the restrooms up and running and possibly even do some painting. We’re going to get it ready to go.” Foundation Secretary Pam Braseth said the community’s involvement is critical to getting a vital resource reopen for everyone to enjoy.

Since the pool closed in 2014, swimmers have been traveling to the Bernie R. Lefebvre Aquatic Center in Fort Walton Beach and Bluewater Bay. Once renovations of the competition pool are complete, Kathi Heapy, foundation Treasurer, said the organization will begin planning programs for the recreational pool such as aquatics, therapy and swimming lessons with local master swimmers.

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