Feasibility study continues on proposed Richmond Hill aquatic center

Feasibility study continues on proposed Richmond Hill aquatic center

BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Bryan County board of commissioners is trying to decide if an aquatic center is the right fit for the county and taxpayers.

In April of 2019, the board decided to conduct a feasibility study.

*A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the board had approved the proposal in April of 2019.

Recently, a consultant came in to talk about what committee members would like to see in the center.

"Building an aquatic facility in Bryan County is an enormous project. It would be a lot to take on but I think we can do it, I think the right management is in place and if we market it correctly there's no reason why we can't make this work,” Bryan County/Richmond Hill aquatic center committee member, Tara Baraniak said.

Baraniak said not only are they running out of space in their current pool, but right now some swimmers commute from Richmond Hill to Savannah every day to train.

The current swim facility in Richmond Hill is the only one in the city limits. With several swim programs held at the facility, sometimes there can be nearly 100 swimmers in the pool at a time. There is a swimming facility open to Bryan County residents in Pembroke.

"I feel like bringing an aquatic center here it will help bring like little kids can learn about to swim, it will help practicing, it will help even football players when they get injured they can swim for injuries and recoveries,” Camryn Baraniak said.

For competitive swimmers, like Baraniak, who left Richmond Hill, at one point to go to one of the best swim schools in the country, says their current pool limits her and her teammates accessibility and ability to train properly.

"There's no room in the lanes, whenever we're swimming butterfly there's no way you can fit two people swimming this way and that way because you hit arms and you will hit the wall and there's just no room,” Baraniak said.

The same thing rings true for competitive swimmer Sebastian Rosales who is currently training to swim in the Olympics for his home country of Mexico.

"If we would get an aquatics center here I would be able to have way more space to do my training than being in a small lane all cramped with like ten people and I would be able to swim my best stroke which is butterfly and be able to swim a lot more efficiently,” Rosales.

The next step is to take the feedback from the consultants and bring the proposal back and determine what will work and what won't.

*A statement made in a published interview incorrectly said that there was not a public swimming facility in North Bryan County.

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