Three years ago WSFA 12 News started reporting about less than desirable conditions at a Montgomery facility.
Parents of children who use the Montgomery Therapeutic Recreation Center had been complaining of mold and mildew in the pool and locker rooms for quite some time.
They feared it was bad for their kids' health.
After years of fighting for change, they finally got it.
"Wow. Holy cow."
David Proctor has never seen the locker room look the way it does now.
"This is really really nice."
The last time Proctor laid eyes on the locker room, there was mold and mildew on the walls, old drippy shower heads in stalls and cracked surfaces.
"This is beautiful," he says.
Now, the tile is brand new and the hardware sparkles.
"I'm just in awe. All the effort has been really really worth it. This is really good."
The change is emotional for parents who waited long and hard for improvement, only trying to provide quality facilities for their children.
But there's something about Proctor you don't know, making his first look at the renovation even more heart-wrenching.
For more than 15 years, his son Ben swam in the pool at the recreation center and used the locker rooms and showers Proctor worked so hard to transform.
Less than a year ago, Ben died unexpectedly never seeing the improvements.
"I just wish Ben could swim in it again."
He was the apple of David's eye.
"It's just tough."
They were best friends--spending hours at the pool together practicing and competing.
"He would tell me to yell at him and people would stare at me. I would be at the end of the row going 'kick your feet,' 'kick your feet,' and the louder I yelled, the faster he'd go. Haha."
Proctor knows, "Ben would have loved this."
But he's certain others will too.
"Kids like Ben will be able to come here and not have to worry about the mold or the things like that."
The renovations took eight months to complete and cost $180,000.
They are compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. It's legislation ensuring proper standards for anyone with disabilities.
Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive