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posted: 6/7/2013 2:05 PM

Antioch set to open new aquatic center

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Blame the floods of 2013 for putting Antioch's new aquatic center three days behind schedule.

But, officials said, when the facility opens at noon Saturday, people will forget all about that minor delay.

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"If we didn't get washed out for three weeks, we'd have had this facility open a week ago," said Antioch Parks and Recreation Director Shawn Roby. "Everyone worked really hard and it came together very nice. We're very proud of it."

The new $2.3 million facility in Williams Park, located off Main Street, replaces the deteriorated municipal pool built some 60 years ago. The original pool had gone through several renovations and expensive repairs since it opened in 1952.

The new Antioch Aqua Center features a zero-depth pool, an L-shaped lap pool, some water play facilities for kids and a single, 20-foot-long water slide.

But, the coolest feature may be the Vortex -- a circular pool that causes water within to spin like a real whirlpool.

"We won't turn it up full on guests, but when it's going top speed, it makes it nearly impossible to swim forward," Roby said. "It's really a cool feature."

The facility also features a new building to house water pumps and other infrastructure that will double as a concession stand.

The $2.2 million facility is a scaled-back version of a $5 million project proposed for Antioch in 2011.

However, after a grant application for the pool was rejected by the state, the village downsized the project to what will open Saturday.

Village Administrator Jim Keim said the aquatic center was funded with $2 million from Lake County recovery zone economic development bonds.

"The village board is very pleased to offer this nice amenity to our deserving public," Keim said during a tour of the facility for employees Friday afternoon. "And, we look forward to opening Saturday."

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