Columbus Parks & Recreation vying to run city natatorium -, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus Parks & Recreation vying to run city natatorium


Parks and Recreation Director James Worsley is on a mission to convince the Columbus City Council that his department is highly capable of running the brand new Natatorium and Aquatic Center in Midtown.

"We can provide the guidance along with along with executive level management to make the natatorium a successful place, find the right people to do that particular job [and] other administrators who will be operating the natatorium on a day to day basis," Worsley said. 

Over the past year, the Parks and Recreation Department has won several state awards under Worsley's leadership. He made a presentation to City Council Tuesday night listing a proposed budget for employees during the first quarter of the natatorium operation.  

Worsley is confident the city will benefit with Parks and Recreation running the center as opposed to an authority or third party. Gary Gibson with the Muscogee County School District says the new facility would be an asset to student swimmers.   

"It would give us the great location to have swim meets in the city. We currently just have the city meet and it really stretches the facility we use, this would give us a state of the art facility to do more city meets and our swimmers not traveling to every meet," Gibson said.   

From this point, Worsley and his team have to answer several questions posed by the council - one being the total annual cost of the entire staff at the natatorium and a detailed explanation of what each position would require. 

Worsley's team is working with the University of Georgia to get that information and is planning make another presentation to council early next year. He says the most important factor when comes to running the natatorium is customer service and making sure that the people are happy.

 "It has to be dynamic opportunities for people of all ages, people of all ethnicities, all backgrounds, all abilities to come into that location and utilize the natatorium," Worsley said.

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