Westlake's new Aquatics Center at Clague Park is not just big, it's beautiful. The facility has taken advantage of the surrounding park setting and incorporated special features to please swimmers of all ages and abilities.

It is 20,000 square feet of water space, a 50% expansion over the former pool, said Recreation Director Bob DeMinico.

Elements of the former pool were preserved, including two refurbished 31½-foot-high slides. The new lap pool is named after former council president Robert Peterson. A memorial rock dedicated to Peterson is in the middle of the new facility.

Among the facility's unique features is a 600-foot-long Lazy River that allows kids and adults to float on inner tubes throughout the facility. Aquatics Director Don Cisar said the 3-foot-deep Lazy River will allow more kids to experience it. In the middle of the area are a series of waterfalls built around stone walls. It also features spray cannons and dump buckets for the more adventurous.

Peterson Pool is a six-lane 25-meter lap pool that has a traditional diving board and a 10-foot-high rock-climbing wall, a feature no other local aquatics facility has, Cisar said. In one corner, there is a lounging ledge with a bubble jet feature.

A 5,300-square-foot activity pool includes a family slide that allows two or three people to slide into the water together. Multiple jet sprays and dump buckets pepper the area. Pool depth ranges from zero to 3 feet.

Plunge Pool features two renovated 31-foot-5-inch-tall speed slides from the former pool.

Splash Pool engages very young children with fun activities, allowing them to experience water in ripples, streams or cascades. Interactive play is encouraged by introducing loose objects, including boats, duckies and sticks, that float downstream.

The Pool House includes a concession stand, administrative offices and changing/restrooms (men’s, women’s and family), as well as locker space. The concession stand is run by The Big Show and features vegetarian options, DeMinico said. Cisar added that the new concession area includes a grill and deep fryer. Both agreed they look forward to an expanded menu not previously available.

A covered pavilion can be rented for birthday parties, and numerous shade structures are available throughout the facility. Plus, swimmers can relax on lounge chairs around the pool or spread their towels onto one of several grassy areas. The space can accommodate more than 1,000 people.

Architects were Cleveland-based Brandstetter-Carroll, Inc. Three Greater Cleveland companies Seitz Builders, Platform Cement and The Astro Pool Company built the facility.

Cost was $7.4 million and financed by a ⅛ of 1% income tax paid by residents who work from home and employees of companies located in Westlake. Voters approved the tax in 2016.

Michele Murphy is a freelance writer in Avon Lake.

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