The Kroc Corner of Fun and Fitness

Before I delve in to my wonderful Kroc Center experience, I think it’s important to emphasize the vision behind the Kroc Center and what it means to the community. Since the check-in process to go for a swim was a bit lengthy, I decided to catch up on the Kroc Center fast facts while we were filling out paperwork. The wonderful lady at the front desk explained to me that Ray and Joan Kroc, who established the Kroc Center, are also the owners of the billion-dollar McDonald industry. Ray and Joan are strong advocates and supporters of the Salvation Army campaign that reaches out to the less fortunate in America. There are over twenty-five Kroc Centers across the nation that are strategically placed in areas that blend different social classes and diversities, one of them located right outside downtown Greenville. Its central location between Main Street and urban neighborhoods make it the perfect location to bridge the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.

The red circle is the Kroc Center. Notice it's strategic location between downtown and the neighborhoods on the right, outlined in yellow

The red circle is the Kroc Center. Notice its strategic location between downtown and the neighborhoods on the right, outlined in yellow

Upon walking in to the building, I noticed it’s exquisite architecture and style. It surely surpassed my expectations as an establishment associated with the Salvation Army. My friend Lauren tagged along for the swim as well. After filling our typical paperwork and paying a small fee of $8, the pool and its facilities were ours to play. Walking to the locker rooms, we passed a fully equipped exercise room and two basketball courts. We could tell that this community center was definitely a popular place.

The locker rooms were extremely clean and had showers, bathrooms, and changing areas. I noticed that the stalls were actually made of recycled plastic, which is very innovative and sustainable. Like a typical locker room, it exited directly to the pool. The pool was considered a fast pool and had multiple competitive lane lines and cool water temperature with relatively clear water. Not only did the Kroc Center have a six lane competitive pool, but also had a play zone with slides and waterfalls for the more youthful swimmers.

Fast six lane pool!

Fast six lane pool!

After talking with the lifeguard, I realized that swimmers of all ages, races, and abilities used the pool. Early in the morning before work, many older swimmers would swim for one to two hours, sometimes training for marathons or simply staying active. Later in the day, the Kroc Center hosts a variety of camps for ages 6-14. Most come from lower income black families and are typically worse swimmers than those that come in the pool with their mothers. There are no swimming camps or lessons per say, but the campers take a break from tennis or boy scouts and can play in the pool area. The pool also offers exercise classes like water aerobics or Zumba that appeal to older, middle aged people of mixed demographics. Interestingly, both active and inactive people use the pool. Where as the more serious swimmers come early in the morning, the heavier, less active swimmerS come for the classes.

A great time was had by all!

A great time was had by all!

Lauren and I came around 2:30 and were two of three swimmers in the lap pool. There was another fit swimmer who looked like he was working out or training for the long distance swim. In the play area, there was a mix of both white and black mothers and their children playfully swimming together. From observation, the vision of Ray and Joan Kroc is apparent this facility that caters families and swimmers of all abilities, races, and incomes together in one place. I had a great time and would love to go back!

This entry was posted in Blog Post 3: Research a Pool Report, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Kroc Corner of Fun and Fitness

  1. etsloan says:

    Eva, I completely agree. It is always really inspiring to see well-kept facilities that are conveniently located for individuals of all ages, races, and classes. I loved watching the parents of a wide variety of socio-economic classes bring their children to the Center to play together. It makes me really happy that Greenville was one of the few locations chosen by the Kroc family! While you were there did you sit in the heated spa pool? That was definitely my favorite amenity (other than the slide!).

    • evabilo803 says:

      I did not hop in the heated spa pool; there were quite a few people in there at the time and I didn’t want to ripple the waters but I most certainly tested out the slide (multiple times). In fact, it was a little scary going down the slide at first because it was so dark! However, I certainly got the hang of it!!

      • I will have to agree with your opinion of the water slide. I thought it was going to be slow and not that fun. However, I went so fast that I was already in the water without even realizing it. I thought the way they built the pool was creative by having it loop outside the building and ending back inside at the pool. I thought the Kroc Center was a cool place to swim.

  2. somerfaust says:

    I did not realize the fun facts you posted about the Kroc Center. It is nice to know that billion dollar people can be so giving of their resources to help with other needs in a community like ours that didn’t have such a nice facility for not just the younger generations but for anyone to learn such a rewarding life lesson of swimming.

    • I agree and this just shows that there are a lot of good people in the world who want to help without any motives. It was great to see the facility as a hangout spot for the youth, and workout spot for the adults. The facility is definitely a great place for anyone who would like to go of any group [age and race].

  3. heatherayer says:

    I also thought the Kroc center complex was such a nice building! It was great to see people who are willing to invest their money into helping other people who are usually less fortunate than they are. I was actually positively surprised by how nice the entire building was (including the gym, basketball courts, locker rooms, and pool) because our public pools in Frankfort are really old and very warn down. Our YMCA downtown is very small and not that clean mainly because of how old it is. I really enjoyed being able to compare pools that are located around the same neighborhoods, but in different cities and built at different time periods.

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