THOMASVILLE — One month into his role as director of Thomasville Parks and Recreation, Cory Tobin is excited about significant developments on the horizon for a city department that is already in the midst of a series of facelifts.
Tobin was recently promoted from recreation program director following the retirement of Vickie McKiver, the long-time parks and recreation director in Thomasville. Having already spent more than nine years in his previous position, Tobin was in a unique scenario. He stepped in as department head after helping to set a vision, along with city council and administration, for the organization prior to accepting his new role as director.
“I’m humbled to have the opportunity to help lead the department and field of recreation that I firmly believe in, in my hometown,” Tobin said. “I think it has allowed me to strengthen relationships that I have with the community, and I am fully bought in to what we can do here.”
Tobin said the key to maintaining an 84-acre park system and 17 facilities citywide is the pivotal support the department receives from city council. Most recently, council approved a contract with CPL for schematic design and construction administration for a new aquatics center.
The new facility will include splash elements, an aerobics area, lifeguard peninsula, five swim lanes, climbing wall and a slide. A new aquatic center and pool would sit roughly where the current pool house and pool sit today.
“I think the aquatic center is a great step, but we fully realize that there’s areas for expansion for our parks system into the Fair Grove and Pilot areas,” Tobin said. “Those are areas that we need to reach with our parks system. It’s really exciting to think about some of the things we can do.”
In an effort to enhance the park system, Thomasville is adding a walking trail as a park of the aquatic center expansion. Tobin said the hope is that it will extend the sidewalk infrastructure already in place at Memorial Park to connect the city’s greenway via Memorial Park Drive.
Tobin is proud of his department’s role in the city’s recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thomasvillle’s greenspaces, he said, were the only segment of city services that was unaffected by the governor’s stay-at-home orders. It points to the impact and how essential recreation is to the community and the health of residents, Tobin added.
According to Tobin, Thomasville’s is the 18th-oldest municipal recreation department in the state. Park facilities were built prior to the creation of a parks department, he noted, including those at Doak Park, Finch Field and Memorial Park.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at email@example.com.