Urbana to celebrate start of aquatic center

Urbana to celebrate start of aquatic center

URBANA — It won't be open for more than a year, but Urbana park officials Thursday will celebrate the beginnings of the new Crystal Lake aquatic center.

They're inviting the public to a demolition-and-construction celebration at 12:30 p.m. at the site of both the old pool and the new aquatic center, just off of North Broadway Avenue.

Demolition of the old Crystal Lake Pool, which closed in 2008, is expected to begin later this month. Construction of the new pool, scheduled to open in May 2013, will begin in June or July.

Urbana Park District staff and commissioners, plus other community leaders, will be at the event to encourage local residents to vote for various proposed pool themes. Residents also will be urged to share their memories of past pools at the site and to talk about their hopes for the new outdoor aquatic center. And they'll be able to view a video that shows the past Crystal Lake Pools, including the original circular facility that opened in 1927.

The park district has $8.1 million budgeted for construction of the new pool, although that number could grow depending on donations and the outcome of a request for a $400,000 state grant. If the grant request is approved, it would pay for a second water slide and a stream bed feature at the pool.

The aquatic center is expected to attract 62,000 visitors annually. Its new design includes the lap pool, a plunge pool with features for older children, and a large leisure pool with features for tots and elementary-school children.

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