Columbus city officials and the Muscogee County School Board have agreed to a land swap. The deal paves the way for a city services center, a park, and an indoor pool to be built next to the library on Macon Road.
When Columbus city officials and the Muscogee County School Board decided to swap some land, they also granted the wish of every swimmer in the area. "This is going to help so many kids in our area, youth and senior citizens and kids that have physical limitations," said Genia Webb, from Columbus Citizens For A Natatorium.
Columbus Citizens for a Natatorium have been pushing for an indoor pool and park to be built on the Macon Road property.
"It will definitely be the only venue on Macon Road that will bring out of town guests to our area, because there's swim meets that last from Friday through Sunday, which will help hotels and restaurants, and will show off our beautiful library," Webb said.
As part of the land deal, the school board will demolish the Sears building and give those six acres to the city.
In exchange, the city will hand over the Firestone property, plus two lots next to the Mildred Terry Library. City and school board officials say the agreement has been a long time coming.
"I said about three weeks ago when we met with the school board, we just need to sit down and talk about this issue of settling and getting some kind of settlement brought to the library," said Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington.
"Everybody wins. The community surrounding that area wins, the city at large wins, all of us do," said Muscogee County School Superintendent Dr. John Phillips.
The only costs for both sides would be paying for the demolitions. The city manager says it will cost around 150,000 dollars to tear down the Firestone building.