Tim Pirtle has a plan to revamp a neighborhood recreation facility into a community jewel.
Pirtle recently purchased the Glenwood neighborhood community recreation property including a pool, tennis court and clubhouse.
"It's going to be the gem of Columbia County," said Dr. Bill Rice, the acting vice president and former pool manager of the Glenwood Association Inc. "It's going to be sweet when it is finished. (Pirtle) has put a lot of time, a lot of energy into it and a lot of his own money into it."
Pirtle purchased the property in early March, when the neighborhood association could no longer manage the financial and maintenance burdens of the facility.
"It has a lot of potential," said Pirtle, of Evans, who is a stockbroker by trade. "It has just been so unkempt. It just needs some TLC."
Since purchasing the property, Pirtle has added a retaining wall and fence along the sunken property's edges.
"We've topped out pretty much every tree and raised up all the limbs and stuff so you can actually get sun to the pool," Pirtle said.
Pirtle said he has big plans for the facility that was open to the community, not just Glenwood residents, for membership last year. He'll have the pool cleaned and ready for swimmers by the time school lets out in mid-May. The renovation will continue through the summer and will include resurfacing the tennis court and adding a practice backboard, more landscaping including flower beds, paths, grass and barbecue grills, and possibly bleachers for the spectators of the pool's 35-member swim team.
The facility boasted an 80-family membership in 2004, but that number dropped to 57 families in the summer of 2005, Rice said. Pirtle said the once seasonal facility is operated year-round. The $300 membership fee will go up, but only slightly, Pirtle said, adding that every penny that comes into the facility for the first couple of years will go right back into its upgrade.
Eventually, the existing clubhouse will be turned into a two-bedroom home for his son, who will be the on-site manager and is a lifeguard and graduating from college. Pirtle said he has plans for a new, more functional clubhouse between the pool and tennis court.
"I don't want it to be just a swimming pool facility," Pirtle said. "... I want there to be a nice clubhouse that will service not only the pool, but also the tennis courts and have it built up on stilts so that it is the same level on the front as the swimming pool. But on the backside, it is hollow underneath so you can actually sit underneath a pavilion and watch tennis and enjoy a cup of coffee or a (soda) and a sandwich, and wait for your tennis court to come available."
Pirtle said he could use community support through donations such as fill dirt, bleachers and anything else that could assist in the renovation.
"I would love to have any assistance from the community that I can," said Pirtle. "I didn't do this to make money off this thing. I did this to give back to the neighborhood. ... Basically, I want to salvage it and put it back into the community and let it turn some good things for the kids."
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