After 2.5 hours of discussion and brainstorming Friday afternoon, the Athens City Council set a direction for the Cain Center.
The council unanimously voted to spend $5.8 million to go with a $2.5 million gift from the Cain Foundation to put the project budget at $8.3 million.
That budget allowed the council to put an additional $2.9 million toward water and/or wastewater projects.
The decision moves the project forward and allows the design team to get back to work.
With this budget, the design of the Cain Center very similar to its past, but with an updated, multipurpose pool and a new exercise area.
But that design could still change, although the budget would not.
Councilwoman Toni Garrard Clay floated the idea putting the Henderson County Clint W. Murchison Library on the upper floor of the Cain Center. The idea got a positive reception, but it was pointed out that there were complicating factors before it could become reality.
The council decided to take the next 30 days to explore if the library idea is feasible.