A growing and successful Richmond Hill Swim Club is looking for a new home.
Erin Cowan, owner of Perfect Pools where the club now trains, appealed to the Bryan County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night about the need for a pool in south Bryan County, using the club’s recent championship in the Savannah Coastal Swim League as evidence.
Cowan said the club also won the league’s most improved award, never having finished higher than fourth place previously.
“Pembroke has a pool, Pooler has a pool, Savannah has an aquatics center,” Cowan said. “If they can do it, so can we.”
Cowan said she is not renewing her lease, although Bill Forrester, who won a bronze medal in the 200-meter butterfly at the 1976 Summer Olympics and runs the Georgia Coastal Aquatic Team, will be taking over the lease so that the club has a pool to call home for the immediate future.
“That lease won’t always be there,” Cowan said. “And the pool is far too small.”
Cowan, who brought more than two dozen parents and swimmers with her to the meeting, said some 600 kids take swimming lessons at the facility and the club has 116 members.
“They’d have 20 swimmers to a lane at practice sometimes,” she said of the four-lane 25-meter long pool.
An Olympic-size pool would provide 50 meters and up to eight lanes, big enough to host competitions. Cowan also said swimming is a life-long activity that people of any age can do for recreation or exercise.
Cowan said she would like to see the YMCA, which has been discussing a new location, add a pool.
Commissioners Chairman Jimmy Burnsed said he agreed with Cowan and that the county has been working with the YMCA to acquire land for a new location.
“One of the objectives is to have a pool,” he said. “But the negotiations are ongoing and I can’t divulge anything.”