What was planned as a free day of swimming as part of the grand opening for St. Augustine’s Willie Galimore Center Community Pool last Friday turned into a whole summer of free swimming with a surprise gift from the Jaguars Foundation.
Mark Lamping, president of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Peter Racine, Jaguars Foundation president, participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday for the new Galimore Community Pool in Lincolnville as a show of support for the center’s new pool.
The Willie Galimore Center is named for the St. Augustine native and Chicago Bears running back Willie Galimore, an NFL star in the late 50s and early 60s.
When invited to offer remarks by St. Augustine City Manager John Regan, Lamping made a surprise announcement that the Jaguars Foundation would underwrite general swimming entrance fees for the entire summer.
The city had planned to charge $1 for children and $2 for adults. Lamping also announced that the foundation would donate funds to extend the pool's hours of operation.
First opened a quarter century ago, the pool was originally operated as part of the St. Johns County Parks and Recreation Department, but in 2009, faced with increasing demands, St. Johns County closed the pool. Last year, using funds provided by St. Johns County, the city removed the old pool and replaced it in just five months of construction.
The new pool, which will be open through Labor Day, is operated by the St. Augustine Family YMCA.
For more information on the pool call 904-471-9622 or visit citystaug.com.