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Aquatic Center gives users a ‘water park’

Workers from Woodward Construction put the finishing touches on the new Hartselle Aquatics Center. | Clif Knight

“Wow” is a word visitors will be using when the doors to the new Hartselle Aquatic Center are opened for an Open House event on May 25.

With its vast array of amenities, the multimillion facility far exceeds being accurately described as a large swimming pool. The term “mini water park” more accurately depicts what the facility represents.

The public will have an opportunity to tour the facility from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 25. The next day at 10 a.m. it will be open for business.

The center’s design was created by GBW Architects of Decatur, a project that was accomplished in four weeks. Construction has been done in four months with Woodward Construction as general contractor. The final inspection is scheduled on May 18.

The center’s 10,000 square-foot main building consists of a concession area complete with a commercial kitchen, It has a grill, French fry cookers, hot dog machine, pizza oven and an ice cream machine. A portion of the 26,000 square-foot deck will be equipped with picnic tables and will be designated as an eating area.

A vestibule with full glass pool front enables non-swimmers to view activity taking place in the pool while resting in air-conditioned comfort. The room also has easy access to the concession area.

Lifeguards and other personnel have access to a glass-fronted room when they’re not on duty and have access to an emergency button, which is capable of shutting the pool down in the event of a problem.

The faculty is equipped with 35 restrooms, 23 of which are designated for women. They are handicapped accessible. There is also ample storage areas.

A control room is located on the opposite side of the pool.

The pool area features a zero entrance, a lazy river, splash pad amenities, a new water slide, regulation size competitive swimming lanes and two diving boards. Walls separating different areas of the pool are equipped with water jets.

‘The architects and builders have done a great job of keeping the project on schedule,” Mayor Dwight Tankersley said. “It’s amazing what they have accomplished in four months.”

“The departments of the city have also been very supportive and had a big hand in facilitating the work.” he pointed out, “and we wouldn’t be getting ready to open a new aquatic center had it not been for the city council stepping out on a limb and doing what had to be done to make it happen.”

“This is going to be a real asset to the city,” he added, “as well as a recreational facility at the people of this community will enjoy for many years.”

Family season passes to the aquatic center will go on sale Mon., May 7, according to Frank Miller, Hartselle Parks & Recreation director. “We’ll be using an automated identification system to permit pass holders to enter the pool area.”

Center hours will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday.