YMCA reopens pools after flood, offers free swimming lessons

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The YMCA is set to reopen swimming facilities after suffering major damage during the historic flood of Baton Rouge.

On October 31, the C.B. Pennington Jr. YMCA announced the re-openings of the outdoor and indoor pool and aquatics facilities.

The nonprofit organization will celebrate the re-openings by offering free swimming lessons for up to 400 participants from the ages of 5-13.

The center took in about three feet of flood water on Sunday, August 14. President/CEO of the Capital Area YMCA Bob Jacobs estimated a total loss of about $2.5 million. The facility had an estimated value of roughly $11 million.

The organization hopes this is one of many phases involved in reopening the C.B. Pennington location.

"Swimming would be another priority. And then we do have some fitness equipment that wasn't damaged. We do hope to bring group exercise back," Jacobs said in August. "It's a lot of moving parts," he added.

"The YMCA of the Capital Area is committed to providing as many opportunities as possible for everyone to swim and learn water safety practices," said Jonathan Lee, association aquatics director.

Swimming lessons begin November until January 2017. They will consist of eight 45-minute swimming lessons and eight 40-minute water safety classes.

"Water is a good thing. I know in the flood it seems to be not well, but it's a good thing. Water is something we want people to feel safe and want to go have fun and learn," said Josh Landry, executive director of the C.B. Pennington Jr. YMCA.

For more information including pool hours, visit their website at ymcabr.org/cbp.

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.