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Old Fourth Ward MLK Natatorium To Be Completed By 2017

Credit Alison Guillory / WABE
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Construction on a new $23 million Martin Luther King, Jr. natatorium north of the King Memorial MARTA station is set to begin later this summer.

City of Atlanta Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong promised Tuesday night that it would be completed by 2017.

“What I’m most excited about is the opportunity to have folks of all ages learn how to swim and be comfortable in the water, and still get a very rigorous fitness routine out of the facility,” said Phuong .

The new facility will include a pool with multiple lanes and an area to learn how to swim, as well as an exercise room and multi-purpose rooms.

Ray Stanberry has lived in Old Fourth Ward for 16 years.

He says his 12 and nine-year-old boys already swim in pools around the city, but a new natatorium close by would be a big improvement.

“Being minority and the whole mystique as far as minorities in swimming and the fear of water and whatnot, I think that would be a great deal to have something like this in the community,” said Stanberry.

The old Martin Luther King, Jr. natatorium near Boulevard and Edgewood Avenue is being destroyed because of issues with its foundation. 

The city is still figuring out what to do next with that property, Phuong said.