FAIRBURY – Demolition was last June. Groundbreaking was last July.
Less than a year later, the Fairbury Aquatic Center officially opened on Saturday afternoon.
“This pool should be a great asset to Fairbury and to our surrounding communities,” mayor Homer Ward said just moments before cutting the ceremonial ribbon, “for many, many years to come. We’re very proud of it. I think everyone should be proud of it.”
The pool opened right on time. The scheduled date for the grand opening was Memorial Day weekend. The rain held off, and the sun came out, making for a beautiful first day of business.
Temperatures were in the mid-to-upper-70s. It had to be at least 70 degrees for the pool to be open for public swim.
The new pool holds 300,000 gallons of water, employs about 35 lifeguards and cost about $3.5 million to construct. Mayor Ward says it’s an investment in Fairbury’s long term future.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve got here,” Ward said, “and I hope the community is proud of it, because it’s going to serve us for many, many years to come.
After the ribbon cutting, the pool was open for a full tour and photo opportunities.Later on, three lucky raffle winners got to be the first ones down the waterslides, and off the high diving board.
The raffle was organized by Fairbury Wavebreakers’ board member Sean Knothe.
“I think it’s going to be a beautiful thing we’re going to have downtown,” Knothe said. “It’s something that’ll bring people from all over. If we can get more people involved and promote the pool, I think that would be a great thing.”
Knothe raised just over $1,300 in the pool opening raffle, with all proceeds going toward new swim ropes for the Wavebreakers – Fairbury’s summer swim league.
After the raffle, the pool was officially open for public swim by 3 p.m. A variety of season passes are now for sale both at the pool and the city clerk’s office.
One-day admission is $4.50 for adults, and $3.50 for kids. Children under 3 get in for free. The pool will be open from 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. daily.
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