Heartfelt pleas to keep Legion Pool open this summer have fallen on deaf ears at UGA. Despite a petition (change.org/OpenLegionPool) with over 700 signatures asking the university to open the pool, the administration has refused to reconsider its decision. Many faculty, staff and community members have expressed their desire to see the pool open, especially after a year of working hard to keep the university afloat.
The historic pool (savelegionpool.org/history) is an Athens tradition that fosters both intra-university relations and town-and-gown relations. Below are some comments expressing the importance of the pool in the lives of the UGA/Athens community:
• It’s one of few places we can build camaraderie across schools and departments at UGA, and we have so few things in Athens for the kids to do in summer.
• As a UGA faculty member, my kids, their UGA undergrad babysitter and I used the pool through the summer the past several years, and it was the highlight of our summer. The pool was always busy on the days we visited, so it seemed like it is well-used and loved by many in the UGA community. Outdoor activities are one of the safest things people can do this summer.
• I am a community member and UGA spouse and am wondering why Legion Pool will be remaining closed when the Ramsey Center pool is open and the university is largely returning to business as normal? My children really look forward to their time at Legion and the closure of Legion Pool last summer was one of the worst parts of pandemic life; we were all so disappointed to see that it would be closed again.
While we are tremendously saddened and disappointed by the administration’s position, we hope that going forward the administration will:
• Respect the history and traditions of the pool.
• Support and optimize the use of the pool, for both UGA and the community at large.
• Recognize the value of the pool as a place where community is formed and nurtured.
The pool was built for and by the citizens of Athens and “given in the manner of a trust” to the university in the 1950s. We hope that the administration will honor that trust.
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