By Sarah Reynolds for The Island Connection
The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) broke ground on a pool construction project in Hollywood on Wednesday, Aug. 29. The complex will be called the West County Aquatic Center and will be located near the new Hollywood Town Center off Highway 165.
The pool will be named in honor of Genesis Holmes, a local who drowned in Hollywood in 2014. The $3 million complex is expected to open in spring of 2019, with funding provided by CCPRC. The Parklands Foundation, a nonprofit arm of CCPRC, is raising funds to support programming at the site through its Genesis Project.
The Genesis Pool will have a capacity of 128 people, and will serve an estimated 10,000 people each season in the Hollywood/ Baptist Hill area and surrounding communities. It is a 25-yard long outdoor pool, with areas at a depth of 3 to 4 feet, and featuring 6 to 8lanes for lap swimming. Lifeguards will be on duty at the pool. Programming will include swimming lessons and summer camps.
The West County Aquatic Center will offer the first public pool in the Hollywood area. According to a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are aged 14 or younger.
“Drowning is a real problem in the rural communities of Charleston County, and access to public pools in these areas is mostly nonexistent,” said CCPRC Executive Director David Bennett. “Bringing swimming instruction directly to these areas is a big step towards preventing drowning. The town of Hollywood is the perfect location to build our first pool, and we are thrilled to soon be able to offer these residents the opportunity to learn to swim.”
This will be the first public pool operated by CCPRC; however, the agency does own and operate 3 lifeguarded waterparks and 3 ocean access parks throughout the county. CCPRC also currently operates a portable pool, which rotates between camps in rural areas throughout the summer for swimming instruction for an estimated 300 youth campers.
The public can contribute to the funding of programming at the pool by supporting The Parklands Foundation by visiting TheParklandsFoundation.org and donating to The Genesis Project.