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Hampton Aquatic Center to open Saturday

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HAMPTON -- After years of planning and nearly two summers without a pool, the Hampton Aquatic Center will become a reality on Saturday.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be at 11:45 a.m. followed by the grand opening at noon. Admission will be free all day Saturday.

"We're excited," said Pat Sackville, coordinator of the Make a Splash! Campaign, which raised money for the project. "We don't care if it's rain or shine or hot or cold - we're finally going to have a new aquatic center, so we're excited about it."

Residents are excited, too.

"It's one of those deals where it's like buying something and having to wait to for it to arrive," said Chad Hanson, Hampton, whose family donated to the project. "It's kind of like Christmas."

Hanson and his wife have four children ages 11, 10, 7 and 4 who will be using the aquatic center.

"The kids are excited to take advantage of it," Hanson said. "They've been looking at it as it's being built. We've already got our pass for the summer."

The $3.3 million aquatic center features zero depth entry, speed water slide, open flume water slide, family water slide, two diving boards, current channel, basketball hoop, six lanes for lap swimming, a play structure including a dump bucket and small slides; shade structures, bath house and concession stand.

"We were able to put everything in it that we wanted to," Sackville said.

She said the 7,100-square-foot project was very important to the community.

"When you do something like an aquatic center, you're doing that for families and kids," Sackville said. "Even though many communities struggle with infrastructure issues ... you always need to be looking at what are we doing for summer recreation or year-round recreation for our families?"

The Hampton City Council approved replacing the city's 50-year-old pool with an aquatic center in 2009.

Later that summer voters approved reallocating the 1 percent local option sales tax entirely for the aquatic center project, and in July 2009 the pool closed because it was leaking into Squaw Creek.

Residents were also without a pool in 2010 as the aquatic center was being built on the old pool site. Construction began in June 2010.

All of the construction is complete except for some landscaping, said Ron Dunt, city manager.

General admission to the aquatic center is $2 for youth 18 and younger and $3 for adults 19 and older. Passes and punch cards are also available. For more information call the City Hall at 641-456-4853 or visit www.hamptonia.us.

The project was paid for through private donations, a state Community Action and Tourism (CAT) grant, private and public grants and Local Option Sales and Services Tax (LOST) revenue.

 

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