Columbus Natatorium- Sinking or Swimming?

By Lindsey Connell - bio | e-mail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - "I feel very mislead. Now, I just feel like I'm not getting any answers. We were told one thing and thought it was over."

Genia Webb says she and members of the Columbus Citizens for a Natatorium are frustrated. They thought the construction would have already started on a new natatorium after the city and school district swapped six acres of land on Macon Road back in 2007.

"It was our understanding a year-and-a-half ago when they did the land swap that the paperwork would be done, the money would be coming in, the design would be done by now, and after the LOST tax, they would be breaking ground because everything would be in order. That's what we were told but that's not happening," Webb said.

The City Manager's office says the land swap didn't have anything to do with the natatorium and the project is not dead in the water.

It is still going to be part of the city's future service center's campus on Macon Road.

We're told the city is moving ahead as quickly as possible with preliminary studies on the site so that architects can start on its design.

The natatorium has some funding from the 1999 SPLOST and has been approved by council to receive LOST monies.

In the meantime, local swimmers say they are left treading water.

"Our group's concern was just to get some water with a roof over it for the kids as soon as possible because our city was so depleted," added Webb.

The City Manager's office says council will be briefed on different design elements for the natatorium in the near future.

As far as breaking ground, city officials could not give a time frame for the project but say it is on the same construction schedule as the city service center.