- February 16, 2021
The overbuilding of Palm Coast has change this beautiful little town that I fell in love with to one of overcrowded roads, fast food places and dollar stores wherever you turn. Still there is this one hidden gem to be found: the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club.
It's true that much of the facilities are used by seniors (I know, I'm there nearly every day), but the 25-meter pool is used by the teams from the high school. Seniors go there every day year-round to swim laps or take classes. The equipment at the gym is older, but so are we, and we love it.
The place reminds me of the TV show "Cheers" where everyone knows your name!
Before the pandemic, the place was very busy; then they shut down for a few months and when they opened again many seniors decided to wait for a vaccine before returning.
Five years ago when they tried to shut us down, we organized and packed the School Board meetings (we pay taxes and vote), but that's hard to do now with everything being virtual.
The new gyms in town are loud, packed with people that don't even say hello and not really geared for 60- 90-year-old people. The town finds millions of taxpayer dollars to pay for things like Holland Park. What about the senior population who basically founded this town? I hope the School Board rethinks its decision and that we get support from the public on this.
I've been a member of the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club longer than anyone, since 1987. I've paid school taxes in this county and never had a child in any of the schools (a fact that I'm grateful for).
It's rather ironic that in the year 2021, my health insurance provider decided to pay this fee for me — the year the new superintendent and School Board are thinking about shutting it down again because it largely serves adults. The grownups are the ones who pay taxes from which they get their highly overpaid salaries.
The school system doesn't seem to be putting much effort into this, figuring the old folks will cave; well, you are wrong because a lot of us got our education before the unions took over the schools; we are better educated than you are!
I’ve got a solution: Give the gym to the city of Palm Coast, which is running a surplus, and name it "The Jim Holland Gym.” Jim was a good man; I'd be proud to work out in a gym named after him.
Douglas R. Glover